Palestine Population and Economy

By | May 27, 2022

Demography and economic geography. – By Palestine we mean the set of territories destined for the formation of the Palestinian state, namely the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The overall population has grown by 20% compared to the 2007 census, reaching 4,436 in 2014. 411 residents, According to an estimate by UNDESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs). The Gaza Strip significantly affects the total, thanks to a population of 1,816,379 residents and to a more active demographic trend in the West Bank, with a fertility rate of 4.24 children per woman, against 2.83; the density of Gaza is among the highest in the world, with 5,000 residents per km2. The three territorial entities that make up the Palestine are in very different conditions. The Gaza Strip has no more Jewish settlers since 2005, but is currently under economic blockade by Israel, so much so that its borders are guarded by Jewish power. The West Bank, on the other hand, is dotted with Israeli settlements: in the last fifteen years the presence of settlers has increased here more than elsewhere, with an incidence of 70%, for a total of 341,400. Although with less intensity, the presence of settlers in East Jerusalem is also increasing, amounting to 196,400; however, Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem are still in a slight majority, with 251,043 residents.

Despite the difficult economic and political situation, population figures confirm that access to essential services is still possible throughout Palestine. The security fence being built between Israel and the West Bank is the most impressive infrastructure in the entire region. Once completed, it will be around 750 km long; built for security reasons by Israel, however, it achieves the result of disrupting the Palestinian political, social and economic space, both at an urban and extra-urban level. From an economic point of view, in many places it cuts agricultural holdings in two or removes urban centers from their agricultural dependencies. The constantly conflicting situation has heavily penalized tourism, the only true industrial activity. Of particular concern is the unemployment figure, reached 27% (2014), a consequence of Israel’s policies to close and control the gates, which does not easily allow Palestinian labor access. As reported in the World factbook of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Israeli restrictions on domestic trade, exports and imports have eroded Palestinian industrial capabilities, making a true process of economic development impossible. The country’s industrial poverty also explains why a large part of the active population works in the services sector (77%). Despite Abu Māzin’s reforms in the West Bank, his government remains heavily dependent on international survival aid. The same goes for Gaza, with the aggravating circumstance of greater Israeli control, facilitated by its small size and justified by the clear opposition with the government of Ḥamās.

While US diplomacy showed limits and hesitations at the negotiating table, perhaps also in order not to endanger the decisive negotiations with Iran, came in June 2014, unleashing the ire of the Israeli government, the news of the government of the reconciliation between Ḥamās and al-Fatāḥ, an executive who remained on paper and dissolved, with a stalemate, a year later, in June 2015. A unleashing a new war in Gaza, together with the dangerous reunification which later proved to be illusory on the Palestinian front, the kidnapping (12 June) and killing (30 June) of three Israeli boys in the southern West Bank, an action attributed by the Israelis to Ḥamās, but which the organization had not claimed. After a harsh repression in the West Bank, the new Israeli military intervention in Gaza, with the help of the aviation, navy and artillery, began on 8 July with the launch of Operation Protective Edge. For the Palestinians of the Strip, a new painful massacre until the ceasefire of 26 August: infrastructures, UNRWA schools, medical facilities and the only power plant in Gaza bombed, 20,000 homes destroyed and tens of thousands of residents left homeless. The death toll showed, as usual, unequal figures: about 2100 Palestinian deaths (over 70% of which civilians) and 70 Israelis (of which 64 military). The noise of weapons ceased, which had seen Israel committed to destroying the network of tunnels dug by Ḥamās to penetrate enemy territory, a real underground city where weapons and terrorists passed, but also basic necessities destined for the Strip, the road for a negotiating table it seemed even more uphill.

In June 2015, according to A2ZCAMERABLOG, the commission of inquiry set up by the United Nations for the 2014 Gaza war, in reiterating the immense suffering of civilians and the possible joint responsibility of the parties in having committed war crimes, stressed that the failure to implement the previous agreements were at the heart of the systematic violations that were perpetuating in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian Territories. Meanwhile, the Israeli blockade around the Strip, in addition to bringing to its knees what was left of an economy now reduced to the limit, also extended to the entrance of the trucks that transported the building materials, thus slowing down the reconstruction of a territory to the point of paralysis. in rubble.

Palestine Economy