West Bank is a term that refers to areas on the West Bank of the Jordan River, known in Biblical terms as Judea and Samaria, which were originally assigned to Jordan by the 1948 United Nations resolution that partitioned the British Mandate of Palestine. They were captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and remain under local government of the Palestinian Authority under Israeli control.
As a result of elections in 2006, Hamas took control of the Palestinian Authority, but most countries refused to deal with a Hamas-led government, resulting in economic sanctions. Clashes between Fatah and Hamas continued until the February 2007 Mecca Agreement, signed by Mahmoud Abbas (PA leader, Fatah) and Khaled Mishal (Hamas), producing a National Unity Government (NUG) under Hamas member Ismail Haniya. After a June 2007 coup in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas took control, Abbas replaced the Haniya government with one led by an independent, Salam Fayyad.
Various Israeli and Zionist factions consider the West Bank an essential part of Israel, either for strategic or ideological reasons. From the strategic standpoint, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the 1949 Armistice Line between Israel's eastern border and the Mediterranean Sea was as small as 9 miles. In that part of Israel was over half of the Israel population and much of its industry, including its electrical power generation, left extremely vulnerable to raids.
- Judea and Samaria, Jewish Agency for Israel