Analysis of Spatial Inequality Patterns in theWest Bank Governorates: Case Study of Tulkarem Governorate and its Localities

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Emad Dawwas / Supervisor
Dr. Ahmad Al-Nobany/ External Examiner
Dr. Feda Yaseen / Internal Examiner
Dr. Emad Dawwas / Supervisor
Naim Fayez Hassan Ishtaiwi
The idea of this research stemmed from the concept of spatial justice and spatial equity on the basis of which all people have the right to be treated equally regardless of their religion, race and place of living. The absence of spatial justice (spatial inequality) can led to segregation and conflict between the different segments of society. This research aims in the first place to investigate the issue of spatial inequality within the Palestinian context. The researcher raised and answered one major question: To what extent can the Palestinian communities be described as spatially unequal? To answer the research question, the West Bank was selected as a case study. The research problem was explored on two spatial scales: the regional scale covering all governorates in the West Bank, and the local scale covering all communities in Tulkarm Governorate. In approaching this problem, a set of sectors was selected in order to examine the extent of the spatial inequality in these sectors. The sectors were selected carefully to cover all aspects of life: political, economic, cultural, educational, health, social, public services and telecommunication and transportation. As to the methodology used in the research, two types of tools were used in the data collection; the first questionnaire was administered to experts from all defined sectors, and the second was statistical records from corresponding institutions and organizations at the national and local levels. The experts’ opinions were used to calculate the final weights of each sector, while the statistical data sets were used in the GIS to spatially represent the components of each selected sector. In both cases (the national and the local levels), the results showed significant inequality within each sector and between the sectors themselves. For instance, the most significant spatial inequality in the political sector was found in Nablus and Jerusalem governorates. Pertaining to the overall evaluation, Nablus and Ramallah showed the highest levels of spatial inequality in the West Bank. A similar methodology and analysis approach was followed in analyzing the spatial inequality, taking Tulkarm communities as a case on the local level. The results showed that Akkaba village was the most disadvantaged locality in the governorate. Finally, the study concluded with a list of recommendations that mainly focused on policies in the economic and political sectors, the worst sectors. Concerning the political sector, the study suggested increase of the financial support to the towns located in Area C and near the Wall until the geopolitical situation has improved.
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