Palestinian Authority claims Arab majority by 2020

May 16, 2016  

A report published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on Sunday in honor of “Nakba Day” – a day of mourning marking the establishment of the Jewish state – offers the Palestinian Authority’s reckoning of the Palestinian Arab population both in Israel, and worldwide.

According to the report, there were 12.4 million Palestinian Arabs worldwide, a nearly nine-fold increase since 1948. Of the more than 12 million claimed by the Palestinian Authority, more than 6.1 million live abroad, mostly in the Middle East.

In what the report refers to as “historic Palestine” – Israel, Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip – the Palestinian CBS claims that there are some 6.3 million Palestinian Arabs, nearly equal to the total number of Jews living in the same area.

Of those 6.3 million, more than 2.9 million living in Judea and Samaria, along with nearly 1.9 million in Gaza, and more than 1.5 million inside the State of Israel.

The report also claims that by the year 2020 there will be more than 7.1 million Palestinian Arabs living between the Jordan River and Mediterranean, surpassing the number Jews in the region.

But some demographers have called the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics methodology, suggesting that the center inflates figures to perpetuate claims of a demographic threat against Israel.

Israeli demographics expert Yoram Ettinger has argued that the Palestinian Arab population is in fact inflated by roughly one million.

Despite official Palestinian Authority figures for 2015 showing a population of 2.9 million in Judea and Samaria, combined with 1.5 million Arabs inside of Israel for a total of 4.4 million, Ettinger claims the real population – excluding Gaza – is approximately 3.4 million.

Ettinger notes that the Palestinian CBS statistics include 400,000 Arabs who have been living overseas for more than a year; double counts 300,000 Jerusalem Arabs who are included in Israel’s census as well as another 100,000 other Palestinian Arabs who possess both PA and Israeli ID cards; and contains suspicious aberrations such as the inclusion of residents born in the 19th century.

Another demographer, Yakov Faitelson, has pointed out that the Palestinian Authority ignores large-scale emigration, which he claims averages roughly 10,000 per year.  

Aside from statistical data, Sunday’s report by the Palestinian CBS includes a number of provocative statements and historical errors, including the characterization of terrorists as “martyrs”, condemnation of the “Judaizing” of Jerusalem, and the allegation that “Zionist forces” were responsible for dozens of massacres claiming the lives of more than 15,000 Palestinians.

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