An-Najah University Journal for Research - B (Humanities)


The West Bank is characterized by the diversity of its climate despite its small area. It includes four climatic regions:- a humid, semi-humid, arid, and semi-arid climate. This in turn affected the geographical distribution of vegetation cover seasonally and over the years. This study investigated changes in the West Bank, Palestine vegetation cover using multitemporal Landsat data. Four images were selected for this purpose – two corresponding to 2001 and the other two corresponding to 2021. Seasonal change of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was investigated for the acquired images. ArcGIS 10.8 software was used for image processing and analysis. Results showed that the negative change of the NDVI of autumn for both dates is much higher than the positive change. About 98.89 percent of the West Bank area scored a negative change in 2001, while about 80.79 percent of the West Bank scored a negative change in 2021. The negative change in autumn is due to the dryness of summer season, which in turn led to the drying of the green grasses and herbs that grow among the trees and on the eastern slopes of the highlands. Concerning the NDVI change between 2001 and 2021, results showed a considerable positive change in the NDVI. Around 90.91% of the surface area of the West Bank (5132.304 km²) has positive change, while only 9.09% (513.405 km²) which mainly represents urban centers has negative change. The main reason that the NDVI in 2021 was higher than the NDVI in 2001 outside the urban centers is that the amount of rain in that year was greater, especially in the northern areas. Thematic maps of NDVI for the two dates were produced, and changes in vegetation cover were extracted from the four maps. Based on the results of the study, it is recommended that decision-makers in the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental organizations develop plans to increase permanent green spaces, especially in arid and semi-arid areas of the West Bank.