New data shows nearly equal number of Jews, Muslims live between Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea

The Israeli Civil Administration presented new demographic data at the Knesset on Monday showing that the number of Muslims living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is nearly identical to that of Jews.
Photo credit: Muammar Awad, Flash 90

A nearly equal number of Jews and Muslims live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, according to demographic data presented on Monday at the Knesset by the Israeli Civil Administration.

More than 3 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and another 2 million in the Gaza Strip, according to the data. That, in addition to 1.5 million Israeli-Arab Muslims living in Israel, adds up to about 6.5 million Muslims – a number nearly identical to that of Israel's Jewish population.

The presentation of the data prompted sharp reactions from both sides of the Israeli political spectrum. MK Moti Yogev of the right-wing HaBayit Hayehudi party called it "inaccurate, to say the least" and said it is based solely upon the reports of the Palestinian Authority.

"The Palestinian Authority does not report the deceased and thus a document was presented to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee claiming that 10 times as many Arabs were born in Judea and Samaria in the last decade than those that died," Yogev added.

Left-wing politicians voiced concern that Israel is moving towards becoming a binational state. "Despite Trump's lovely support, these 5 million Palestinians aren't going anywhere," said Labor Chairman Avi Gabbay. "It is our responsibility to separate from them."

MK Amir Peretz, Israel's former Defense Minister, tweeted, "Whether there are 2 million or 3 million Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, it's clear that Israel will not be able to remain a Jewish state at this rate. … Only by separating into two states can we ensure security and economic growth in a democratic nation with a Jewish majority."



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