Reviewing the Interactions between Conflict and Demographic Trends in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: The Case of The Gaza Strip

  •  Ghassan Elkahlout    


This paper reviews the interactions between conflict and demographic trends in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), and provides an analysis of The Gaza Strip. Palestinian society has experienced momentous demographic transition over the past century, as well as recurrent waves of displacement and outbreaks of conflict and violence over the last decade. The enclave has witnessed demographic changes, with the emergence and rule of Hamas, repeated wars, and, since 2007, the unlawful blockade of The Gaza Strip. The United Nations (UN) has warned that, living conditions in Gaza are deteriorating faster than forecast, and are predicted to become dire by 2020. This paper provides a brief review of theories linking conflict and demography, followed by an introduction to the historical and contemporary context of The Gaza Strip. An in-depth analysis of the impact that conflict has on the demographic structure of Palestinian society in The Gaza Strip, focusing on the factors behind high fertility rates, population growth trends, and the drivers of migration. The analysis offered builds upon interviews with Palestinian experts, and Palestinian asylum-seekers in Greece, Poland, U.K. and Sweden, in addition to data published by the Palestinian Statistics Bureau Centre and research articles focusing on The Gaza Strip. The paper concludes that, the Palestinian reconciliation agreement should take priority over the population and the economy.

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