The West Bank is considered landlocked territory not officially recognized as part of any country. Israel calls the land “disputed.”
The United Nations claims the West Bank is “occupied” by Israel, which maintains overall control of most of the area while the Palestinian Authority has jurisdiction in about 40 percent. The Palestinians claim a population of roughly 2.4 million, but new demographic studies show the numbers are likely inflated. The actual Palestinian population could be up to 1 million less.
The territory remained under Jordanian rule from 1948 until Israel captured the West Bank in 1967 after Jordan’s King Hussein ignored Israeli pleas for his country to stay out of the Six Day War. Most countries rejected Jordan’s initial claim on the area, which it formally renounced in 1988.
The West Bank borders most of Israel’s major cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Military strategists have long estimated Israel must at a minimum maintain the West Bank to defend its borders from any ground invasion.
Many villages in the West Bank, which Israelis commonly refer to as the “biblical heartland,” are mentioned throughout the Torah.
The Book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at Shechem (Nablus) and received God’s promise of land for his offspring. He was later buried in Hebron.
The nearby town of Beit El, anciently called Bethel meaning “house of God,” is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stone pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In that dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory.
And in Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested in Shilo, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt.
Excerpted from a WND article.