(compiled by Sally Campbell & Michael McNamara)

  1. The overall population of Israel-Palestine (meaning Israel proper, the occupied Golan Heights, and the West Bank & Gaza- occupied Palestinian territories) is approx.12 million. The area is almost 50% Jewish Israeli and 50% Palestinian (Muslim & Christian), with slightly more Jewish Israelis.
  2. The entire area is 2/3 the size of Vancouver Island.
  3. Israel has the 4th largest military in the world and is tied with France for 3rd place in military exports, after the US and Russia. It maintains a policy of “nuclear ambiguity”. Estimates of its nuclear capacity range from 70 to several hundred nuclear weapons.
  4. Since 1967, Israel has occupied the West Bank & the Gaza Strip (the “occupied Palestinian territories” oPt ) as well as the Golan Heights (Syrian and Druze).
  5. Palestinians in the oPt have been living under military rule for 48 years. They are not allowed into Israel. They have no vote. Over 1,600 military orders govern the oPt.   Jewish Israeli settlers living in the oPt are under Israeli civil law. [1]
  6. Palestinians can be arrested and held without charge under “administrative detention”; if charged, they are tried in military courts which have a 99.7% conviction rate. Sentences for throwing stones at a stationary object are up to 10 years; for throwing stones at a moving object, up to 20 years.[2]
  7. Palestinians are 38% of the overall population of Jerusalem. 306,000 live in East Jerusalem which was “annexed” by Israel after the 1967 war. (This unilateral action is not recognized in International Law.) Palestinians must have resident permits which they lose permanently if they cannot prove Jerusalem is “the centre” of their lives (eg. if they commute the 10 miles to Ramallah to work). They are not allowed to make improvements such as additions to their homes.
  8. 46% of Jerusalem taxes come from Palestinian neighbourhoods. 5-10% of city tax revenue is reinvested in Palestinian neighbourhoods. Palestinians have to pay separately for their water and sewage treatment. [3]
  9. Palestinians in the West Bank are not allowed to travel to Israel proper, or even to Jerusalem to hospital without a permit, which can be very hard to get. Those in Gaza are not allowed to leave Gaza without a permit. The “outside world” is generally not allowed to enter Gaza at all.
  10. There are now (since 1967) approximately 600,000 Jewish settlers living in the oPt, including over 200,000 in East Jerusalem.
  11. Israel controls the water for the entire land. In the oPt, Palestinians are allowed 11% of the aquifer systems, Israelis 89%. Palestinians are allocated approximately 70 litres of water daily, in some cases much less, which they must purchase from Israel. The World Health Organization recommends that each person have 150 litres of fresh water each day.
  12. Settlers use approximately 369 litres/day; those living in Israel proper use approximately 300 litres/day. The Israeli water company “Mekorot” sells Palestinians their own water (ie, water from the oPt). Settlers (Jewish only) do not have to buy water. [4]
  13. The “Separation Wall”, 85% of which is inside the oPt, is now 60% completed. It is 700 km. long and is 30 feet high in places. In many cases, it splits a Palestinian village in two. It is also called the “Annexation Wall” because, when complete, it will de facto annex 46% of the Palestinian West Bank.

Some good sources of information:

  • Mondoweiss – blog on I-P issues by Philip Weiss & Adam Horowitz
  • Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU)
  • The Electronic Intifada
  • Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Shalom Rav – blog of Rabbi Brant Rosen
  • Democracy Now
  • BDS (Boycott Divest Sanctions) Movement.net
  • US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
  • Canadians for Justice & Peace in the Middle East

[1] Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association  http://wwwaddameer.org/etemplate.php?id=12

[2] Addameer, meeting in Ramallah, June 4, 2014.

[3] Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions,( ICAHD) talk & tour June 4, 2014.   www.icahd.org

[4] The Applied Research Institute (ARIJ), meeting in Jerusalem, June 10, 2014.   www.arij.org/