Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson / Flash 90
A Talmud Torah in the Israeli community of Bat Ayin (file)

(JNi.media) Yaakov Katz (Ketzele), former chairman of the National Union party and a former MK, wants the world—and many Israelis—to know that there is, indeed, a demographic time bomb in Israel, but its colors are blue and white.

“With God’s help,” Katz writes in his Facebook page, “396,818 Jews. This is the new figure from the Population Registry we reveal today.”

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The new figure, just 3,182 short of 400,000, is the number of Jews living in Judea and Samaria, not including Jerusalem, as of the end of June 2015.

When you add the other 400,000 Jews living in areas that have been annexed by Israel without international recognition—eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights—you get a whopping 800,000 Jews.

According to a comprehensive study on Jewish-Arab demographics published in 2011 by demographer Yakov Faitelson, there has been a sharp, upward surge of the Jewish population, especially among secular Israeli Jews, and a sharp decline of Arab population growth, as a result of successful Arab integration into Israel’s infrastructures of modernity.

In 2015, Faitelson issued an updated report, showing a marked decline of 36-37% in population growth among Arabs both in Israel and Judea and Samaria. At the same time, overall Jewish births have risen 47%.

The combined factors of Arab immigration to other countries in the region as well as to the West, a 44% rise in Arab mortality of the last 16 years as a result of an aging population, and the steep decline in the number Arab births is already changing the demographic reality in Judea and Samaria—where Jewish birth rates have risen by 15.16% from 1996 to 2013. Arab births in the same area and years have declined by 49.13%.

According to the Katz announcement, the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria is divided as follows:

Cities and local councils: 260,954; Gush Etzion: 22,717; Mount Hebron: 7502; Jordan Valley: 6265; Samaria: 36,580; Binyamin: 62,800.

Katz is critical of both Prime Minister Netanyahu and his former Knesset allies, the Bayit Yehudi party, of ignoring the demolition of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, and the freezing of settlement construction.

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