Administrative Boundaries in West Bank

Hi all,

I wanted to discuss about the administrative distribution in the west bank.
This area is composed of regional Boundaries (admin level 5) which are taken possibly from the pcbs.
The outcome is that the Israeli settlments in the west bank are listed under an adminstrative area of a palestinian territory, for example ‘Ariel’ is under ‘Salfit’ and ‘Bet El’ is under ‘Ramallah’.
As these Admin 5 regions represent a Palestinian POV, is it the correct way to demonstrate the administrative boundaries?
Isn’t it more accurate to use a more neutral approach and maybe even remove these admin 5?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

I’m not familiar with this subject. However, to make a change, it would help to know more. Removing correct information from the map is not an option. We should always strive to make the map better and more accurate.

Is there another administrative division of the West Bank?
For example, what are the boundaries used by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT - מתפ"ש)?

What are the administrative boundaries applicable to settlements?
For example, what are the administrative boundaries for building permits or education?

How do all administrative boundaries relate to Oslo’s areas - A, B, and C?

As far as i know the COGAT is using a partial boundaries approach, where not all Palestinian villages’ admin boundaries are captured.
It is a disputed area, and I have never witnessed any “regular” admin distribution for the West bank area.
The Palestinians indeed have a normalized admin structure based on the former situation before 1967.
COGAT as earlier mentioned holds a partial admin area and if we take a look on Moetzet Yesha we see a full coverage of Israeli regional councils:
Considering the above, I tend to believe that as far as there’s a border dispute, admin boundaries cannot be considered for each side, as the other side will not acknowledge that.
Maybe an Admin boundary which is consisting on the built up area is the most precise approach?
The admin level 5 is at any case controversial as according to reality an Israeli settlement cannot relate to a Palestinian higher Admin level in my opinion.

I respectfully disagree. OSM uses the “on the ground” principle. As far as I understand, the Israeli and Palestinian authorities have a clear definitions of authorities and boundaries. Areas A B, and C are an example of these areas.

It is likely that the current admin_level=5 boundaries are dated back to the Jordanian rule of the west back, if not to the times of the English Mandate.

Can you check who handles land registration for the Israeli settlements? For example, which authority registers the purchase or confiscation of Palestinian land for settlements? Who registers housing purchases in the settlements, and what boundaries are used, if any, to separate registration in the Israeli settlements and Palestinian villages in Area C?

At the end of the day, I think we need authoritative Israeli statement about the administrative boundaries in order to make any change.

Note that the association of a place with an admin level is purely geographical.

Land registration seems discrete:

I had a look the GIS data of planning unit of civil administration, and some palestinian/israeli villages don’t have an admin area according to that layer while in other cases there are overlapping Palestinian/Israeli areas(!).
I was trying to reach the person in charge of the statutory data there to find some answers for the admin 8, but no luck yet. I took a look also on other map providers and I don’t find a uniform solution, or a some kind of an official structure anywhere.

Hi, some information I have about this topic:

There are 4 major structures of the West Bank:

  1. Oslo Accords A B and C areas - currently mapped in OSM as admin level 4 (changed from level 3 by user Fürfelder, 4 days ago)
  2. Palestinian division of 11 subdistricts (محافظات\governorates) (Jenin, Tulkarm, Tubas, Nablus, Qalqiliya, Salfit, Ramallah & alBireh, Jericho, alQuds/Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron)- currently mapped in OSM as admin level 5 → This division made by the Palestinian Authority and it’s not legacy from the Jordanians nor the Brits.
  3. Israeli division of 7 subdistricts (Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Ramallah, Jordan/Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron) - not mapped in OSM
  4. Israeli 6 regional councils borders - not a formal divion - partially mapped in OSM as admin level 8 (i’ve mapped years ago).

There are also 2 structures of local authorites: Israeli and Palestinian
The Israeli settelments have borders set by the Civil Administration.
The arab settelments do not have formal borders, but there are “Electoral Boundaries” made by the PA (can be seen here).

Thanks Mr Masri for the important clarifications.

Is there any non-overlapping relationships between the different entities in the West Bank? For example:

  • Is there any overlap between Area A and an Israeli regional council border? If so, what authority does the Israeli regional council have in the overlapping areas?

  • Is there any overlap between Area B and an Israeli regional council border? If so, what authority does the Israeli regional council have in the overlapping areas?

  • Is there any overlap between Area C and a Palestinian Authority’s sub-district? If so, what authority does the Palestinian Authority have in the overlapping areas?

Will it be accurate to state that the 11 Palestinian sub-districts are used in Areas A and B where the Palestinians have civil authority?
Will it be accurate to state that the Israeli regional councils are used in Areas C, where Israel has civil authority? If so, does it also include Arab populated places and Arab-owned land?

By the way, the change of Oslo areas from admin_level 3 to 4 was done by user Mordel42 on August 23, 2015

There are no hierarchical relations between the different entities in the west bank. Generally, there’s a lot of mess going on. Part of the areas declared as Israeli regional council in 1979 was declared as area A/B in 1995 and 1998, yet the first declaration is still vaild. I actually don’t know what the Israeli regional councils do with the area declared as their but also declared as Area A/B. There are about 5 houses in Sha’arey Tikva that are located in area B, but still managed by Shomron regional council. There is also an outpost next to Yizhar located in area B managed by it’s own citizens. Those are the only cases I know, where Israelis really living in Area B.
In the opposite case, when there an arab village is located on area C (or partially on area C), it is usually have local council (what they call “municipality” - baladiya) that works mostly with the palestinian authority, but also with the Israeli civil administration.

It will not be accurate, but it is the closest situation to what happens on ground. The official borders are not always works on ground.

No. arab population is not working with the Israeli regional councils, even on their area.

Thanks, my mistake.

One other option to be considered is to re-define the Israeli regional councils relations as including only the areas of the Israeli settlements, and exclude the Israeli settlements from of the Palestinian sub-districts by defining the same areas as “inner” members of the Palestinian relations.

From what I understand from this thread so far, it seems to be closer to what happens on ground.
I hope it will also solve the original issue of providing appropriate administrative areas for Israeli and Palestinian populated places.

Side note: Local councils / cities do have administrative boundaries, which are AFAIK entirely in Area C. They were mapped in the past but disappeared from OSM. Maybe a good first step is to bring them back.

In OSM nothing really disappears, except for copyright reasons and other violations.
Can you provide the changeset/way/relation numbers of the administrative boundaries that disappeared from OSM?

Yeah I’m aware that things don’t really disappear :slight_smile: just posted this as a call for help finding the changesets. I think they have been gone for at least 5 years, and I always have trouble finding old changesets on OSM. Tried OSMHistory but came up blank. The relations were 8-level administrative boundaries, and should have had the names of the cities (e.g. מעלה אדומים).

3 weeks ago I had proposed above a simpler solution.

I prefer defining what our approach should be rather than finding what was done in the past, and guessing why was it done that way.