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Its mountains—Carmel, Gilboaʿ, Aybāl (Ebal), and Al-Ṭūr (Gerizim)—are lower than those of Upper Galilee, while its basins, notably those of the ʿArrābah Plain and Nāblus, are wider and more gently contoured than their equivalents in Judaea.

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The city of Jerusalem has expanded rapidly along the mountain ridges.

From Ramallah in the north to Beersheba in the south, the high plateau of Judaea is a rocky wilderness of limestone, with rare patches of cultivation, as found around Al-Bīrah and Hebron.

Precipitation, which arrives in the cool half of the year, decreases in amount in general from north to south and from the coast inland.

Perennial rivers are few, and the shortage of water is aggravated by the porous nature of the limestone rocks over much of the country.

The strategic importance of the area is immense: through it pass the main roads from Egypt to Syria and from the Mediterranean to the hills beyond the Jordan River.