More than 300,000 Israelis live in Jewish settlements in the West Bank
New housing units in the West Bank settlement of Har Gilo, near the Palestinian city of Bethlehem. Settlements in the occupied West Bank gained 3,500 residents last year and settlers had the largest families of any Israeli community, with an average of 4.6 persons, according to a government survey. © Hazem Bader - AFP/File
More than 300,000 Israelis live in Jewish settlements in the West Bank
AFP
Last updated: September 28, 2011

Israel: Settler population on the rise

Settlements in the occupied West Bank gained 3,500 residents last year and settlers had the largest families of any Israeli community, with an average of 4.6 persons, a government survey said.

It said about four percent of all Israelis, equivalent to about 312,000 people, live in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The Central Bureau of Statistics report released ahead of the Jewish New Year, which begins at sunset on Wednesday, said the average birth rate for all Jewish Israeli mothers was 2.97 each, the highest since 1977.

The average Muslim mother gave birth to 3.75 babies in 2010, with her Christian counterpart bearing 2.14 offspring.

The report said 16,633 people immigrated to Israel last year, of which 3,404 came from Russia, 2,530 from the United States and 1,775 from France.

Israel's overall population in September 2011 was about 7.8 million, of which 5.8 million were Jews and 1.6 million Arabs, with the remainder listed as "others," mainly emigrants from the former Soviet Union who have Jewish heritage but are not themselves Jewish according to religious law.

The survey counts Israel's Arab citizens, Palestinians who remained in the Jewish state after the 1948 war that followed its creation, and their descendants, as well as some 270,000 Arab residents of occupied and annexed east Jerusalem.

It does not include the nearly four million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

blog comments powered by Disqus