The Number of Arabs in the Palestinian Territories may be exaggerated
Yoram Ettinger, an Israeli Demographer, has estimated that there are far less Arabs in Judea and Samaria (what the world calls the West Bank) than what Arab and UN official statistics claim.
He estimates that there are rougly 1.3 to 1.5 million Arabs in the contested areas, rather than the 2.5 million claimed. He blames this error on the Arab practice of double counting.
If Ettinger is right, there are, at most, 1.2 million young Arabs in the area – Arab demographics run towards the young. Maybe even less young people.
Interview with Yoram Ettinger
In recent years, Yoram has made waves through his investigation of Palestinians demographic projections, made prominent through the publication of “The Million Person Gap: The Arab Population in the West Bank and Gaza,” by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University. The basic contention of the report is that through a thorough investigation of Palestinian demographic data from Israeli, Palestinian, and International data sources, that Palestinian population growth rates have been dramatically overstated. This to the point that the Palestinian Authority claims a population of more than 1.25 Million people more than actually reside in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem combined: 2.49 million in mid-2004 rather than the projected 3.83 million reported by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
The Arabs know they have a Demographic Problem
Fatwa forbids PA Muslims to emigrate
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 06/10/2007 00:42
Alarmed by the growing number of Palestinians who are emigrating from the Palestinian territories, the Palestinian Authority’s mufti has issued a fatwa [religious decree] forbidding Muslims to leave.
The Numbers may be inflated by a Million
The Politics of Palestinian Demography
In 2005, an American and Israeli demography team headed by Bennett Zimmerman and Yoram Ettinger confirmed the 2003 findings and, again, criticized both the illegitimate inclusion of Arab emigrants from the Palestinian Authority and the double counting of the East Jerusalem Arab population. The Zimmerman and Ettinger study also revealed that, at the end of 2000, the Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip numbered 2,246,000 people—1,280,000 in the West Bank and about 966,000 in the Gaza Strip.
Now maybe Yoram Ettinger’s numbers are a bit too low; but what is clear is that the Arabs are inflating their numbers, probably by a million or more.
The world estimates 2.5 Million Arabs in Judea and Samaria alone. As shown, that figure may be way off.
Mr. Ettinger does not count Palestinians outside the territories. That may be a bit dicey. These may be outside the territories only temporarily for work. Does he plan to strand these stateless people outside the territories at some point? In any event, his overall thesis has some merit.
A Smaller Arab Population has consequences
If the Arab population is that much smaller, it begs the question: Is it cheaper to move the settlers out of the Palestinian territories, or pay the Palestinians to leave?
We will deal with that in our next post on this issue.