Palestine is made up of two geographically separate areas: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The West Bank covers an area of 5,655 square kilometres, while the Gaza Strip covers 365 square kilometres. The West Bank is more than fifteen times larger than the Gaza Strip. Together, they make up 22 percent (20.5 and 1.5 respectively) of the territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine. Today, in total, there are 4.4 million people living in both territories: 2.7 million in the West Bank and 1.7 million in Gaza (Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, 2013).
The Gaza Strip lies adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea in its entire length (42 kilometres). It is a narrow piece of land – hence the name ‘strip’. North and central Gaza measure five kilometres in width, the maximum width of the south is 12 kilometres. In the north and east, the Gaza Strip borders on Israel (the border length is 51 kilometres); in the south it borders on Egypt (border length:11 kilometres).
The West Bank is hemmed in by Israel (307 kilometres) in the north, west and south. The Jordan River and the Dead Sea, an interior lake, form the eastern boundary with Jordan (97 kilometres). The West Bank is landlocked.