Number of Palestinians and Jews will be Equal in 2016

RAMALLAH, December 31, 2011 (WAFA) – The number of Palestinians in historical Palestine totaled 5.8 million at the end of 2012, while the number of Jews is expected to reach 6.0 million at the end of 2012, Monday said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

The number of Palestinians and Jews will total about 6.5 million of each by the end of 2016,  however, the number of Palestinians in historical Palestine will total 7.2 million compared to 6.9 Jews by the end of 2020, said the release.

It said that the total fertility rate in 2011 among Palestinians living in Israel was 3.3 births compared to 3.0 births among Jews. The average Palestinian household size in Israel is 4.8 people.  The crude birth rate of Palestinians in Israel exceeded 25 births for every 1000 of the population.

The number of Palestinians living in Israel is 1.4 million, of whom about 36.5% are aged less than 15 years compared to 4.1% aged 65 years and above, it said.

The crude birth rate is 32.7 births for every 1000 of population: in the West Bank the figure is 30.1 compared to 37.3 in Gaza Strip. The rate is expected to decline to 31.9 in 2015.

The crude death rate is 3.9 deaths for every 1000 of population: in the West Bank the figure is 4.0 compared to 3.8 in Gaza Strip. The rate is expected to decline to 3.6 in 2015.

The total fertility rate declined during 2008-2009 to 4.4 births compared with 6.0 births in 1997.  The rate in Gaza Strip during 2008-2009 was 5.2 births compared to 4.0 births in the West Bank.  These rates have been stable for the past few years with no significant changes.

The projected number of Palestinians in the world is 11.6 million of whom 4.4 million are in the Palestinian Territory, 1.4 million in Israel, 5.1 million in Arab countries and around 655 thousand in other countries.

( / 31.12.2012)

Israel’s 42nd violation of Truce Agreement: Tanks and bulldozers enter southern Gaza Strip

Israeli Tanks (File Photo)

Israeli Tanks
Israeli tanks and bulldozers have conducted an incursion into the Gaza Strip despite a ceasefire that ended the Tel Aviv regime’s attacks on the blockaded Palestinian territory.

Local sources reported on Monday that Israeli military tanks and bulldozers intruded into the southern city of Rafah.

Witnesses said Israeli forces entered about 100 meters into the Palestinian land, violating the truce agreement once more. No casualties have been reported.

On December 10, Israeli forces conducted a similar incursion into the southern city of Khan Yunis for the first time after a truce reached between the Tel Aviv regime and the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

Over 160 Palestinians, including women and children, lost their lives and about 1,200 others were injured in the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza that were carried out during the eight-day period of November 14-21.

Palestinian resistance fighters incessantly poured rockets and missiles on Israeli cities, killing at least five Israelis, including one soldier, in retaliation for the deadly attacks.

On December 27, the Tel Aviv regime said it was concerned about the improvement of the defense capabilities of Palestinians. Israeli Minister of Home Front Military Affairs Avi Ditcher said, “The accuracy rate of their (Palestinians) rockets is increasing.”

( / 31.12.2012)

Israeli troops raid southern Gaza in fresh violation of calm


Israeli troops raid southern Gaza in fresh violation of calm

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) infiltrated into eastern Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, on Monday in a fresh violation of the calm agreement.
Local sources said that IOF troops escorted six bulldozers into the outskirts of Nahda suburb to the east of Rafah and started bulldozing the area.
They said that IOF tanks and a truck loaded with iron boxes were also heading to the area, noting that reconnaissance flights were seen flying over the area.
In another incident, Israeli warplanes were seen hovering over the Gaza Strip last night in an unprecedented manner raising fears of possible raids in violation of the calm.
Quds Press reported that a number of F16s were flying over the Strip and focused on the southwestern areas of Gaza city.
( / 31.12.2012)

Explosions in Iraq Kill at Least 10

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Explosions killed at least 10 people and wounded 46 across Iraq on Monday, police said, underlining sectarian and ethnic divisions that threaten to further destabilise the country a year after U.S. troops left.

Tensions between Shi’ite, Kurdish and Sunni factions in Iraq’s power-sharing government have been on the rise this year. Militants continue to strike almost daily, and carry out at least one big attack a month.

The latest violence followed more than a week of protests against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by thousands of people from the country’s minority Sunni community.

No group claimed responsibility for any of Monday’s attacks, which targeted government officials, police patrols and members of both the Sunni and Shi’ite sects.

Seven people from the same Sunni family were killed by a bomb planted near their home in the town of Mussayab, south of Baghdad.

In the Shi’ite majority city of Hilla, also in the south, a parked car bomb went off near the convoy of the governor of Babil province, missing him but killing two other people, police said.

“We heard the sound of a big explosion and the windows of our office shattered. We immediately lay on the ground,” said 28-year-old Mohammed Ahmed, who works at a hospital near the site of the explosion.

“After a few minutes I stood up and went to the windows to see what happened. I saw flames and people lying on the ground.”

Although violence is far lower than during the sectarian slaughter of 2006-2007, about 2,000 people have been killed in Iraq this year following the withdrawal last December of U.S. troops, who led an invasion in 2003 to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Monday’s violence also included a series of blasts that killed three people in Iraq’s disputed territories, over which both the central government and the autonomous Kurdish region claim jurisdiction.

Two of those deaths were in the oil-producing, ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, where a bomb exploded as a police team tried to defuse it.

Baghdad and Kurdistan are locked in a feud over land and oil rights and recently deployed their respective armies to the swathe of territory along their contested internal boundary, where they are currently facing off against each other.

Efforts to ease the standoff stalled when President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd seen as a steadying influence, suffered a stroke and was flown abroad for medical care earlier this month.

Maliki then detained the bodyguards of his Sunni finance minister, which sparked protests by thousands in the western province of Anbar, a Sunni stronghold on the border with Syria.

Protesters are demanding an end to what they see as the marginalisation of Iraq’s Sunni minority, which dominated the country until the U.S.-led invasion. They want Maliki to abolish anti-terrorism laws they say are used to persecute them.

On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq, himself a Sunni, was forced to flee the epicentre of the protests in Anbar’s city of Ramadi when demonstrators pelted him with stones and bottles.

( / 31.12.2012)

Abu Marzouq Calls PA President Abbas to Hand Over The West Bank to Hamas



On Monday 21st December, Hamas’ deputy political bureau chief, Moussa Abu Marzouk, called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to hand the keys of the West Bank to Hamas.

Abu Marzouq statements came as a response to Abbas’ threats to dissolve the PA and to hand over responsibility for the West Bank to Israel if the latter refused to return to the peace talks and to freeze settlement construction after Israel’s elections that will take place in January 22, 2013.

Abu Marzouq have wandered in a press release published on his Facebook page, “Why President Abbas want to hand over the West Bank to Israel? Why he don’t hand it over to Hamas.”

Abu Marzouq said that the best and most effective threat for Israel is to hand the West Bank to Hamas, as Hamas has proved its steadfastness in the face of the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza and their success in achieving the triumph in the wars with Israel and Hamas attempts in fighting the internal conflict and reaching a national reconciliation.

( / 31.12.2012)

Fatah spokesman slams Hamas leader’s PA comments

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf on Monday condemned a Hamas leader’s remark that if President Mahmoud Abbas wants to renounce control of the West Bank, he should pass it to Hamas.

Amid a growing financial crisis and negotiations stalemate, Abbas again this week warned that he could dismantle his Palestinian Authority government, forcing Israel to take responsibility for the Palestinian population.

“If the stalemate continues…what’s left for us to do?” he told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Hamas deputy politburo chief Mousa Abu Marzouq seized on the remark in a Facebook post, calling on Abbas to hand the reigns, not to Israel, but to Hamas, Abbas’ long-time foe.

Fatah’s Assaf on Monday hit back at the post, saying: “Do Abu Marzouq and Hamas accept to govern the West Bank while settlements are there and during this situations which will only lead to a state with temporary borders and a state without Jerusalem?”

“Does Abu Marzouq want to tell Israel that he accepts what Abbas refuses and what Fatah and the PLO refuse? And that he’s ready to be a replacement of the legitimate leadership which is being surrounded politically and financially because of its national positions.”

He reiterated claims by Fatah officials that “some Palestinian groups,” ostensibly referring to Hamas, are in secret talks in a regional country to accept a Palestinian state based on temporary borders.

( / 31.12.2012)

Israel Demolishes Home in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, December 31, 2012 (WAFA) – Workers from the all-Israeli West Jerusalem municipality Monday demolished a Palestinian-owned home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabber under the pretext of building without permit, according to the house owner.

Mohammad Shqeirat, 58, told WAFA that workers and a large police force came to his house, forced him and his family of 25 people to leave it quickly and then started to demolish it over its furniture. He said he was not given a prior warning of the demolition and was not given enough time to remove his stuff.

Shqeirat said he has tried for almost 15 years to obtain a permit to build and to add-on to his existing house but all his efforts have failed.

He said the Israeli municipality denies Palestinians building permits in East Jerusalem forcing them to build without a permit.

( / 31.12.2012)