The infant mortality rate among Palestinian citizens of Israel is nearly three times higher than among Jewish citizens, official figures have revealed.
A Health Ministry report, “The National Challenge of Reducing Inequality in the Health System”, states that while Israel’s overall infant mortality rate in 2016 stood at 3.1 deaths per 1,000 births, “the rate among Arabs was nearly three times higher than among Jews — 6.2 to 2.2, respectively”.
In Tel Aviv municipality, for example, which includes Jaffa, “the infant mortality rate among Arabs averaged 8.2 deaths per 1,000 births, more than four times higher than the two deaths per 1,000 births among Jewish babies in the city.”
The average infant mortality rate in 2015 among countries in the OECD was 3.9 deaths per 1,000 births.
The Health Ministry report also included data on the overall mortality rate, with Jewish settlers in the West Bank enjoying the lowest mortality rate among Israeli citizens.
The life expectancy of Palestinian citizens stands at 81.4 years for women, and 77.2 years for men. For Jewish citizens, life expectancy stands at 84.7 years for women and 81.5 years for men.
Moshe Bar Siman Tov, the director-general of the Health Ministry, said the report showed the need for Israel to better address health inequality, which he said stemmed largely from “socioeconomic gaps whose origin is outside the health system”.