Area C

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 Agreement. The agreement placed Israel in near-exclusive control over security and civil matters (including planning and construction) in Area C, which comprises approximately 61.5 percent of the occupied West Bank. There are as many as 300,000 Palestinians living in 532 communities that are completely or partially in Area C. The more than 200 Israeli settlements in the West Bank are located in Area C. The settlements that used to exist in the Gaza Strip were also in Area C, before they were evacuated in 2005. Most of the West Bank’s natural resources are in Area C, meaning that Palestinians have no access to those resources. Palestinians and goods leaving and entering the partitioned areas of the West Bank often must pass through Israeli checkpoints; Palestinians have no control over these boundaries. Most agricultural areas are located in Area C, and many Palestinian farmers must obtain permits from the Israeli COGAT to access their lands, because they live in areas A or B. The vast majority (89 percent) of the Palestinian Jerusalem governorate that falls outside Israeli municipal boundaries (i.e., J1) is designated Area C.

See Area A, Area B, Oslo Accords.