H.E. Dr. Ola AWAD, President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), provided a review of the geographical, demographical and economic situation of the Palestinian people on the 75th Annual Commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba, which is observed on 15 May each year.
Nakba in Palestine describes a process of ethnic cleansing in which an unarmed native nation was destroyed and its population displaced systematically to be replaced by Jewish occupiers from all over the world. The Nakba resulted in the displacement of 957,000 out of 1.4 million Palestinians who were living in 1,300 villages and towns in the historical Palestine in 1948. The majority of the displaced Palestinians ended up in neighbouring Arab countries, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and other countries. Furthermore, thousands of Palestinians, who stayed in the land controlled by the Israeli Occupation in 1948, were forcibly evicted from their homes and lands.
During the Nakba, Israeli Occupation controlled 774 towns and villages and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages with more than 51 massacres in which more than 15,000 Palestinians were martyred.
The population of Palestine in 1914 was around 690,000; of whom only 8% were Jewish. In 1948, the number of Palestinians in Palestine exceeded 2 million; 31.5% of them were Jews. Between 1932 and 1939, the largest number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine reached 225,000 Jews. Between 1940 and 1947, more than 93,000 Jews poured into Palestine. Thus, Palestine received around 318,000 Jews between 1932 and 1947 and more than 3.3 million from 1948 to 2022.
Despite the displacement of more than 1 million Palestinians in 1948, and the displacement of more than 200,000 Palestinians (majority of them to Jordan) after the 1967 war, the Palestinian world population reached 14 million by the end of 2022. This means that the number of Palestinians in the world has doubled about 10 times since the Nakba, and more than half of them lived in historical Palestine by the end of 2022. Accordingly, their number reached 7 million (1.7 million in the occupied territories in 1948).
Estimates indicated that the number of population by the end of 2022 in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, was 3.2 million and around 2.2 million in the Gaza Strip. As for the population of Jerusalem Governorate, it was about 487,000; approximately 65% of which (about 314,000) lived in those parts of Jerusalem which were annexed by Israeli Occupation in 1967. Data showed that Palestinians represented 50.1% of the population living in historical Palestine, while Jews constituted 49.9% by the end of 2022. Israeli occupation continues its control over 85% of the area of historical Palestine, which amounts to 27,000 km2.
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