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Israeli statistics do not give real number of Palestinians in Jerusalem

A general view from the tower of the Church of Redeemer shows the Dome of the Rock mosque and the cross of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the old city of Jerusalem, on February 17, 2014 [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]
A general view from the tower of the Church of Redeemer in the old city of Jerusalem on 17 February 2014 [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]

The Israeli Municipal Water Association, Gihon, has said that official Israeli statistics did not give the real number of Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, Quds Press reported yesterday.

According to Quds Press, the Israeli daily Haaretz wrote on Thursday that Gihon is to publish data about the numbers of Arab and Jewish residents in East Jerusalem which differs to the numbers published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.

Israeli official statistics show that there are 542,000 Jews living in Jerusalem, to a total of 63 per cent of the population, as compared to 324,000 Palestinians.

Gihon, which has conducted a survey recently, said that this number does not include tens of thousands of Palestinians living inside the borders of the city.

Meanwhile, Haaretz reported experts saying that the number of Jews in the city is less than the number given by the Israeli government, noting that it is in fact only 59 per cent.

Haaretz said that the problem with the Palestinians is that there is a large number of them living in the Shu'fat refugee camp and the Kafr Aqab neighbourhood, which were separated from the city by the Israeli separation wall.

The Israeli daily said that these are highly condensed areas, and that they attract large numbers of Palestinians due to cheap housing prices.

According to the official Israeli statistics, around 60,000 Palestinians live in Shu'fat and Kafr Aqab, while the unofficial number is around 140,000.

Haaretz cited Maya Hoshen from the Al-Quds Institute said that the number of Palestinians living in Jerusalem is more than 900,000 or 41 per cent.

Israel is fearful of Arabs in Jerusalem outnumbering Jewish residents due to political considerations regarding the Arab nature of the holy city, and pressures Palestinians to leave the city while encouraging Jews to move to it.

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