Map of the Palestinian People

This concept refers to the geographic and demographic makeup of the constituencies defined under international law as the Palestinian People.

Definition

The concept of Map of the Palestinian People refers to the geographic and demographic makeup of the constituencies defined under international law as the Palestinian People. From the perspective of Israel's interface with the Palestinians, the following distinctions can be made:

  1. Political - Legal Status – distinction between Palestinian Refugees and Palestinians who are non-refugees.
  2. Geographic Distribution – distinction between residents of the West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Diaspora primarily in the Host Countries (Jordan, Syria and Lebanon).

Political-Legal Status1

  • Palestinian Refugees – This constituency resides primarily in the Host Countries, in the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as in East Jerusalem:2
  1. Definition – A Palestinian Refugee is a formal legal definition according to international law of the political-legal status of a person “whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.” This definition also includes the descendents of those who became refugees in 1948;3
  2. Numbers – According to UNRWA, the population of Palestinian refugees amounts to more than 4,200,0004 in Lebanon (~10%; 400,000), Syria (~10%, 420,000), Jordan (~42%; 1,800,000);5 and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (~38%, 1,500,000);
  3. Displaced Persons – The constituency of displaced Palestinians comprises of residents of the West Bank who fled to Jordan (East Bank) as a result of the 1967 war and were not allowed to return. Their descendants are also considered displaced.
  4. Second-Time Refugees – This constituency comprises of Displaced persons who were 1948 refugees i.e. of persons who fled from their homes in 1948 to the Jordanian-controlled West Bank and then fled for second time from the West Bank to the East Bank as a result of the 1967 War.
  • Non-Refugees – This constituency comprises of Palestinians who did not flee their homes in 1948 or of persons who may claim to have fled in 1948 but are not formally recognized as Palestinian Refugees or Displaced. At present, an estimated 2,200,000 of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza are non-refugees. It is not known how many Palestinians who are non-refugees live in Host Countries and in other countries.6

Geographic Distribution7

  • Residents of the PA in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – this constituency includes both refugees and non-refugees. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) estimates that in 2004 there were 3,800,000 Palestinians in the territories, of whom 2,400,000 resided in the West Bank and 1,400,000 were in the Gaza Strip, respectively.8
  • Palestinian Diaspora – the majority of this constituency resides in the Host Countries:
  1. Jordan (1,800,000) – Palestinians - displaced, refugees and non-refugees - enjoy Jordanian citizenship without full equal rights. Refugees from Gaza who arrived in Jordan following the 1967 war do not possess citizenship;
  2. Syria (~420,000) – Palestinian refugees are non-citizens, though they enjoy most of the rights that Syrian citizens enjoy;
  3. Lebanon (~400,000) – Palestinian refugees are considered "foreigners", and do not enjoy full equal rights.9

Israeli-Arabs

The Arab population in Israel (~1,300,000 (19%) in 2004 not including East Jerusalem) holds full-fledged Israeli citizenship (see Political-Legal Status of Israeli-Arabs). Among this constituency, some view themselves as Palestinians. At the same time, some Palestinians perceive Israeli-Arabs as part of the Palestinian People that should be associated to the Palestinian state symbolically, politically or legally. (See Palestinian Draft Constitution).10

Tables: The Map of the Palestinian People in Numbers

Numerical data regarding the "Palestinian People" is based on estimations. Despite uncertainty, the objective of this Table is to approximate the distribution of the Palestinian People according to the above distinctions.

Table A: the Distribution of the Map of the Palestinian People:[11] click here.

Graph B: Refugees listed in UNRWA by states: click here.

Table C: Refugees listed in UNRWA by domicile: click here.

Tables D: Demographic Data June 2004, UNRWA:[12] click here.



1 See Table A: Distribution of the Map of the Palestinian People.
2 See Table B: Listed refugees according to countries; Table C: Listed refugees according to domicile.
3 Out of the official site of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
4 See Table D: Demographic Data, June 2004, UNRWA.
5 On the Palestinians in Jordan see: Mohanna Haddad, "Palestinian Refugees in Jordan and National Identity", 1948-1999, (in) Joseph Ginat and Edward J. Perkins, The Palestinian Refugees, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001, pp.150-168.
6 See Table A: Distribution of the Map of the Palestinian People.
7 See Table A: Distribution of the Map of the Palestinian People.
8 See Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics; and also: Efrat Elishea, Geography of Occupation, Jerusalem: Karmel, 2002. See also Table A: Distribution of the Map of the Palestinian Refugees.
9 Wadie E. Said, "Palestinian Refugees: Host Countries, Legal Status and the Right of Return", Refugee, Volume 21, Issue No. 2, 2004.
10 See Gideon Shila, Israeli Arabs In the eyes of the Arab World and the PLO, Jerusalem, Magnes, 2002; Amara Muhammad, "Israeli, Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority", (in) Media Journal, Vol. 4, No.1, March 2000.
11 This table contains statistic crossings of several bodies which conducted surveys and made different assumptions during 2004. Therefore, the numbers in the tables are to be seen as crude estimations only. The Jordanian Palestinians were counted as "Refugees" according to UNRWA's numbers.The different sources from which the numerical data was taken:UNWRA's estimations, June 2004 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics
12 This data does not include the number of non-refugees. According to the estimation of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in 2004 there were 3,827,914 Palestinians in the Palestinian territories, of whom 2,421,491 in the West Bank and 1,406,423 in Gaza. The data does not mention what percent of those are refugees.
More Sources
Sources
  1. For more updated statistics and data regarding the population of "Palestinian Refugees" see the UNRWA website .
  2. Gideon Shila, Israeli Arabs in the Eyes of the PLO and the Arab World, Jerusalem: Magnes, 2002.
  3. Efrat Elish, Geography of Occupation, Karmel; Jerusalem, 2002.
  4. Amara Muhammad, "Israeli Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority", (in) Meria Journal, Vol.4, No.1, March 2000.
  5. Haddad Mohanna, "Palestinian Refugees in Jordan and National Identity' 1948-1999, (in) Joseph Ginat and Edward J. Perkins, The Palestinian Refugees, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001, pp.150-168.
  6. Said Wadie E., "Palestinian Refugees: Host Countries, Legal Status and the Right of Return", Refuge, Volume 21, Issue No. 2, 2003.