Days of Palestine, West Bank –Palestinian Statistics Bureau announced on Tuesday the number of Palestinians around the world was 12.1m at the end of 2014.
The number was announced to mark the 67th anniversary of the Nakba, a statement issued by the Head of the Palestinian Statistics Bureau Ola Awad, said. Defining the Nakba, Awad said: “Nakba was a forced displacement process for the unarmed Palestinian nation from its land in 1948.” She explained: “Around 800,000 Palestinians were forced out of their villages and cities to the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the neighbouring Arab countries. In addition, thousands were forced out of their homes, but remained in areas became under Israeli control.”
The number of the Palestinians that time was 1.4m were living in 1,300 Palestinian village and cities, of which the Israeli occupation occupied 774 and destroyed 531 others. Awad added that the occupation committed more than 70 massacres against the Palestinians and caused more than 15,000 deaths. The number of Palestinians living today in the Palestinian lands occupied in 1967 is around 4.6m, including 2.8m in the occupied West Bank and 1.8m in the Gaza Strip. Palestinians refugees in both areas represent 43.1 percent of the total population. Until May 2014, the number of refugees recorded by the UN Aids and Working Agency for the Palestinian Refugees UNRWA was 5.49m. About 29 percent of them are living in 58 camps in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
This number of refugees does not include all refugees forced out of their homes between 1949 and 1967, as well as it does not include the Palestinians forced out of their homes by the Israeli occupation or seeking to find safe places to settle in during the 1967 war. Palestinians, who did not leave their homes and became part of the occupied Palestine (Israel) were 154,000 in 1948, while the number became 1.5m by the end of 2014. At the end of 2014, population density in the Gaza Strip was 4,904 residents per each kilometre square, while in the occupied West Bank it was 500 residents per each kilometre square. The number that the Palestinians are now 12.1m means that they have been doubled by 8.6 times until the end of 2014.