Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, May 2015
Palestinians Are 12 Million Strong 67 Years After the Israel Catastrophe, With a Red-Carpet Film Festival Amid the Rubble of Gaza
May 17, 2015
Videos of Palestinians marking the Nakba, Catastrophe, Day byinsisting on getting their rights of return and statehood:
Palestinians say they number 12.1 mn people worldwide
The figures show that at the end of 2014, 2.8 million Palestinians lived in the West Bank and 1.8 million in the Gaza Strip.
In the impoverished Gaza enclave, the population of 4.9 people per square kilometre makes its density one of the world's highest.
Of the 4.6 million people in the Palestinian territories, 43.1 percent are refugees.
The balance of 7.5 million Palestinians live in exile, the majority in 31 UN-installed refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
UNRWA, the world body's aid agency for Palestinian refugees, has 5.49 million people registered on its books.
The figures were announced ahead of Friday's 67th anniversary of the "Nakba", or "catastrophe" in Arabic, the day when Palestinians mourn Israel's establishment in 1948.
In a statement, the head of the statistics bureau said that in 1948, "1.4 million Palestinians lived in 1,300 towns and localities in historic Palestine".
After the war that followed Israel's creation, "Israel took control of 774 towns and villages, destroyed 531 and committed 70 killings and massacres in which 15,000 people died", she said.
Some 154,000 Palestinians decided to remain on their land after that conflict, and their Arab Israeli descendants now number nearly a million and a half.
Other figures made public by the Association for Civil Rights in
Israel NGO show that Palestinians make up 37 percent of the population
Of the Palestinians in east Jerusalem, 75 percent live below the poverty line and the homes of almost 40 percent are threatened with destruction because they lack building permits from Israeli authorities.
More from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics below.
As Hollywood stars strutted their stuff amid the glamorous setting of
Cannes, a different kind of a red carpet was being laid out in an
eastern Gaza city.
The festival was held in the Gaza Strip on the debris of the homes
that were destroyed during last summer’s Israeli offensive on the
Organizer Saud Aburamadan revealed that everyone who attended was
invited to walk down the red carpet that snaked through the rubble.
‘We invited all of the residents to walk down the red carpet to the
premiere. It was our way of saying that each and every one of them is
Aburamadan added: ‘For us, red is first and foremost the color of so
much blood that was spilled here this summer. The blood of women, men
The Gaza war — the third in just over five years — left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, the majority of them civilians, including hundreds of children, according to Palestinian and UN officials.
Israel blamed the attack on Hamas and carried out a wave of arrests, which was followed by an increase in rocket fire from Gaza that prompted Israeli airstrikes and then a ground invasion. The fighting ended with an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire on Aug. 26.
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Special Statistical Bulletin
On the 76th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba
The Nakba: historical Facts Nakba literally means a natural disaster such as an earthquake, volcano, or hurricane. However, the Nakba in Palestine is a process of destroying unarmed indigenous nation to replace it by another ‘grouped-up’ nation. In 1948, 1.4 million Palestinians lived in 1,300 Palestinian towns and villages spreading over all of historic Palestine. More than 800 thousand of them were forcibly displaced from their original towns and cities into the West Bank and Gaza Strip, neighboring Arab countries, and other countries of the world. Along with the displaced, some thousands remained in their hometowns in the so-called ‘1948 areas’. Documentary evidence shows that the Zionist troupes laid hand on 774 towns and villages and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages during the Nakba. The atrocities of Israeli Zionist forces also included over 70 massacres in which 15 thousand Palestinians were killed.
The Demographic Reality: Palestinian population has increased about 9-fold since the Nakba The estimated of Palestinian population in the world totaled 1.21 million by the end of 2014. This indicates that the number of Palestinians worldwide has multiplied 8.6-fold in the 67 years since the Nakba. According to statistics, the total number of Palestinians living in historic Palestine (between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean) by the end of .114 was 121 million and this number is expected to rise to 7.1 million by the end of 2020 based on current growth rates.
Statistical data also show that refugees constitute 4.21% of the total Palestinian population in State of Palestine. UNRWA records showed that there were 5.49 million Palestinian refugees registered in mid2014. Around 29.0% of Palestinian registered refugees live in 58 refugee camps, of which 10 are in Jordan, 9 in Syria, 12 in Lebanon, 19 in the West Bank, and 8 in Gaza Strip.
These estimates represent the minimum number of Palestinian refugees,
given the presence of non- registered refugees. These estimates also do
not include Palestinians who were displaced between 1949 and the 1967
war, according to the UNRWA definition, and do not include the
non-refugees who left or were forced to leave in the aftermath of the
war in 1967. The number of Palestinians who remained in their homeland
in the 1948 territory after the Nakba was estimated at 154 thousand
persons, now in 2014 estimated to be 1.5 million on the 67th anniversary
of the Nakba. In the 1948 territories, the sex ratio is 102.2 males per
100 females, while 35.4% of the population are below 15 years of age and
4.3% are aged 65 years and over, based on available statistics relating
to Palestinians living in Israel in 2013. This illustrates that the
composition of the Palestinian population in the 1948 territory is
young, as it is in Palestinian society as a whole.
Settlements: Most settlers live in Jerusalem as part of Israeli Judaization policy There were 409 Israeli settlements and military bases in the West Bank at the end of .11. and the number settlers was around 580,801 at the end of the same year. Most settlements are located in the Jerusalem governorate. According to data, about 281,684 (48.5%) settlers live in Jerusalem governorate, of whom 206,705 live in Jerusalem (J1). The ratio of settlers to Palestinians in the West Bank is 21 settlers per 100 Palestinians compared to 69 settlers per 100 Palestinians in Jerusalem governorate. Israeli Settlers Use More Than 50 Million m3 of Water from the Palestinians Water to Cultivate the Land Seized by the Israeli Occupation
Data from the Ministry of Planning on the national strategic framework for the development of policies and interventions in the Area C, based on World Bank report indicates that the total cultivated area in Israeli settlements in the West Bank during 2013 was about 100 km2. The majority of the land is irrigated using more than 50 million m3 of the Palestinians ground water. Irrigated areas cultivated by Palestinians 2011, are about 78 km2.
Historical Palestine: Israel controls more than 85% of its land The area of the historical land of Palestine totals about 27,000 km2. Jews exploit more than 85% of the total area of land. Palestinian comprise 48% of the total population in historical Palestine and exploit less than 15% of the land. A Palestinian therefore has less than one fifth of the area available to an Israeli.
Water crisis in Palestine The situation of water in Palestine differs from other countries in terms of water shortage and the limited water sources that include only the groundwater and surface water. The amount of groundwater pumped in Palestine in 2013 was 262.9 MCM and the water discharged from Palestinian springs was 39.5 MCM in the West Bank for the same year.
The amount of water obtained for Palestinians from groundwater aquifers is estimated at only 15%, while 85% is drawn by Israel. To cover the shortage the Palestinians are forced to purchase water from Israeli Water Company "Mekorot" at quantities totaling 63.3 MCM in 2013.
The daily allocation per capita from consumed water for domestic use in 2013: 78.8 Litter/capita/day (l/c/d) in the West Bank and 91.3 l/c/d in Gaza Strip. However, 95% of drinking water in Gaza Strip doesn’t meet WHO standards and is also less than the minimum quantities recommended by WHO (100 l/c/d).
Martyrs: Continuous efforts to build a state The number of martyrs
killed in the al Aqsa Intifada between September 29, 2000 and December
31, 2014 was 10,062. The highest toll was in 2014 with 2,240 Palestinian
martyrs, followed by 2009 with 1,219 martyrs. In addition, 306 martyrs,
were killed during 2012, 15 of them from the West Bank, and
Detainees Data from the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and
Ex-detainees show that Israel has arrested more than 850 thousand
Palestinians since 1967: more than 85 thousand were arrested since the
AlAqsa Intifada. Know there are around 6,500 Palestinians in detention.
Of these, 24 detainees are female, 200 are children, about 500
Palestinians are held under administrative detention (without trial) and
480 detainees are serving life sentences. Israel arrested 6,059
detainees during 2014. Since 1967, 206 Palestinians have died in Israeli
jails as a result of torture, denial of health treatment or deliberate
According to Al-Maqdisi Institute, between 2000 and 2014, the Israeli authorities demolished 1,342 Palestinian buildings in East Jerusalem (the areas annexed by Israel in 1967). This has resulted in the displacement of 5,760 people.
Data show an increase in the cases of residents forced to demolish their own houses: 340 people were forced to demolish their own homes during the period between 2000 and 2014, the highest rate of which was recorded in 2010 with 70 demolitions and 49 in 2009.
Thousands of buildings were destroyed during the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip in 2014 Data indicate that the number of completely destroyed housing units during the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip in summer 2014 was about 9 thousand units. Moreover, 47 thousand housing units suffered partial destruction. Furthermorer, 327 schools were completely destroyed, 50% of which served double shifts. In addition, six universities were partially destroyed. Holy places didn't survive the attack either with the destruction of 71 mosques and some churches. 20 government buildings were completely destroyed, in addition to the damage caused to 29 hospitals and primary health care centers.
Labor Market 2014 The labor force participation rate in Palestine in
2014 was 45.8%: 45.7% among refugees and 45.8% among non-refugees. The
participation rate in the West Bank was 46.6% (47.6% among refugees and
46.2% among non-refugees) compared with 44.4% in Gaza Strip for both
refugees and non-refugees. The unemployment rate in Palestine was 26.9%
(33.7% among refugees and 22.3% among nonrefugees). The unemployment
rate in the West Bank was 17.7% (19.3% among refugees and 17.1%
Education According to the primary results of the Education data the 2014/2015 scholastic year, there were 2,843 schools in Palestine: 2,145 in the West Bank and 698 in Gaza Strip. Their distribution according to the supervisory authority was follows: 2,096 governmental schools, 349 UNRWA schools and 398 private schools. The total number of students in these schools exceeded 1.177 million, of whom 586 thousand were male and 591 thousand female. There were 778 thousand students enrolled in governmental schools, 290 thousand enrolled in UNRWA schools, and 109 thousand enrolled in private schools.
The illiteracy rate among Palestinians aged 15 years and above was 3.6% in 2014, distributed as 1.6% of males and 5.6% of females. It was 3.3% among refugees and 3.8% among non-refugees. In the field of higher education, there are 14 universities: 5 universities in Gaza Strip and nine universities in the West Bank, in addition to 19 colleges that grant bachelor's degrees: 6 in Gaza Strip, and 13 in the West Bank. while, there is only University for Open Education has 15 centers in the West Bank and 5 centers in the Gaza Strip, while there are 18 community colleges: 11 in the West Bank and 7 in the Gaza Strip.
Macroeconomics: Consumer Price Index during 2014 The Palestinian Consumer Price Index increased by 1.73% in 2014 compared with 2013: by 3.84% in Gaza Strip, 2.85% in Jerusalem (J1), and by 1.20% in the West Bank. In comparison with the base year of 2010, the Consumer Price Index in Palestine increased by 9.42%: by 13.65% in Jerusalem (J1), 12.44% in the West Bank, and 3.14% in Gaza Strip.
Trade: Limited Palestinian exports Both imports and exports of registered goods increased in 2013 over 2012. In 2013, the value of imported goods totaled USD 5,163.9 million, an increase of 9.9% compared with 2012. The total value of exports was USD 900.6 million, and increased by 15.1% compared with 2012. As a result, the net trade balance in goods recorded a deficit of USD 4,263.3 million in 2013, an increase of 8.9% over 2012. The results indicate that 87.3% of exports destination was Israel, while only 12.7% of total exports reached other countries excluding Israel. The limited value of exports to other countries was due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian exports, especially from the Gaza Strip.
Information Society The percentage of households that have a computer in the State of Palestine, 63.1% for 2014, by 66.9% in the West Bank and 55.6% in Gaza Strip, compared with 50.9% of households in 2011. The results show that 48.3% of households in the state of Palestine has a connection to the Internet in 2014, compared with 30.4% in 2011.
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