Is the Palestinian Population of East Jerusalem Becoming More Israeli -- No

On October 21, 2012, Haaretz published a blockbuster report: 3,374 East Jerusalem residents received full Israeli citizenship in past decade.  The subtitle: “According to new data obtained by Haaretz, the number of East Jerusalem Palestinians requesting – and receiving – citizenship rose sharply between 2004 and 2010.”

Those are the headlines; here are the facts:

  • In 2000, there were 211,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem, 32% of the population,
  •  Of them, approximately 11,000 were Israeli citizens. That’s about 5.2 %.
  • Today, there are 293,000 Palestinians, 37% of the population.
  • Of them, approximately 4.8% are Israeli citizens.

Thus, while it is true that an additional 3374 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem received Israeli citizenship since 2000, this same Palestinian population grew during this same period by 82,000.

Meaning that during this period, there has been a net drop in the percentage of Palestinians in Jerusalem who are citizens of Israeli – from 5.2% to 4.8% of that population.