By Aryeh Savir
A newly published study shows that the Arab population in Israel’s region is constantly shrinking, especially in the Gaza Strip, and this in contrast to a constant increase in the Jewish population.
The study, authored by Dr. Yaakov Feitelson and published by the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS), on the demographic trends in Israel demonstrates that the widely perceived concepts on demography in Israel are misconceived.
The Arab population of Judea, Samaria and Gaza includes 2,762,000 Moslems and about 52,000 Christians, approximately 1,331,000 people fewer than the number estimated by the Palestinian Authority.
While the natural increase rate, birth and mortality rates, for Israeli Jews rose by 41.6 percent from 1995 to 2012, the Arab natural increase rate declined during the same time by 30.6 percent, with the rate in 2012 at its lowest level since 1955.
The study cites several reasons for the shrinking of the Arab population in Israel.
The emigration of young Arabs is a trend contributing to the Arab decline in natural growth. It is probable that, following the emigration of young people from these areas, the decrease in the annual population growth of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip will accelerate even more. A groundbreaking survey of the political and social attitudes of Arab youth, conducted by the Baladna Association for Arab Youth and Mada al-Carmel, the Arab Center for Applied Social Research, reveals that about 25% are considering emigration.