Ramallah is located in the central region of the West Bank, very close to al-Bireh city. It is part of the Governorate of Ramallah and al-Bireh, which lies north of the Governorate of Jerusalem. Ramallah is the second largest city in the governorate according to population after al-Bireh. The Mukataa in Ramallah served as the headquarters of the Israeli military from 1967 to 1994, when the Palestinian Authority was established. In 1996, Yasser Arafat made the Mukataa his official West Bank headquarters, and eventually, the city became the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority.

Ramallah occupies an area of 6.3 square miles. As per a 2007 population census report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the city has 27,460 inhabitants in its jurisdiction. Ramallah forms an agglomeration with al-Bireh which has around 38,202 inhabitants, and the two are often considered a single city. Historically, Christians comprised the majority of the city’s population, but the predominant religion in modern day Ramallah is Islam with the Christian population ranging around 25%. The primary language of the residents is Palestinian Arabic, a unique dialect spoken by Palestinian nationals and populations around the world.

Ramallah is described as the cultural capital of the West Bank and as the most liberal Palestinian city. It has a variety of attractions, but it receives fewer visitors compared to other Palestinian territories such as East Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The most visited sites in Ramallah include landmarks like the Tomb of Yasser Arafat and the Al Khader Church ruins, wineries and breweries, and an indoor rock climbing gym know as Wadi Climbing. There are also historic sites and history museums like the Dar Zahran Heritage Building, the Yasser Arafat Museum, the Palestinian Museum, and the Mahmoud Darwish Museum. Ramallah also boasts several fancy restaurants, discotheques, bars, theatres, and cultural centers.

Ramallah has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, designated as Csa in the Köppen climate classification. It experiences dry and hot summers and mild, rainy winters. Precipitation is mainly in the form of rainfall, but there may be occasional snowfall during the winter season. The hot and dry weather conditions of summer are caused by the subtropical high-pressure systems dominating the city. On average, Ramallah receives about 615 mm of rainfall in a year, with most of it falling during the cooler months. The mean monthly temperatures exceed 22 0C in the warmest month, while the average of the coldest month falls between 18 0C and -3 0C.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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