Area A

One of the three administrative divisions, areas A, B, and C, established in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip by the 1995 Oslo II Accords. The agreement placed the Palestinian Authority in charge of both “internal security and public order” and civilian affairs in zones designated as Area A. The zones include major Palestinian population centers—Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Jericho—and their immediate surroundings, as well as approximately 80 percent of Hebron. Area A comprises 18 percent of West Bank land and is home to the majority of its 3.05 million Palestinians (2021). In the Gaza Strip, once Israel evacuated its settlements in 2005, the territory effectively became entirely Area A—although stifled by a crippling military blockade since 2007. Likewise, in the West Bank, these mapped boundaries have changed de facto as Israel has shifted its military positions. The Israeli army conducts regular raids inside Area A, often to stage arrests. Palestinians and goods leaving and entering these partitioned areas of the West Bank usually must pass through Israeli checkpoints; Palestinians have no control over these boundaries. Less than 0.5 percent  of the area of the Jerusalem governorate is designated Area A.

See Area B, Area C, Oslo Accords.