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Urban Built-Up Area Estimation and Change Detection of the Occupied West Bank, Palestine, Using Multi-temporal Aerial Photographs and Satellite Images

Ghodieh, Ahmed
Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing 2020 v.48 no.2 pp. 235-247
Landsat, aerial photography, agricultural land, buildings, politics, remote sensing, urbanization, Israel, Palestine, West Bank
The study aims to investigate the urban change in the West Bank between the years 1997 to 2016, under complicated geopolitical conditions. High-resolution aerial photographs (1.25 m and 0.1 m) and moderate-resolution satellite imagery (30 m resolution Landsat data) were used in this study. The results of the study showed that the Palestinians suffer from serious limitations imposed by the Israeli occupation due to the urban expansion, especially in the so-called area C, which represents 61% of the West Bank. The Israeli occupation controls this area. On the other hand, the Israeli occupation provides an opportunity to the Israeli settlers to build more houses and buildings for various purposes. The study also shows that most of the Palestinian urban expansion comes at the expense of agricultural lands. The study recommends that the international community has to place more pressure on Israel to give the Palestinians their freedom to plan for their future, and use their lands freely.