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Jewish population in Judea and Samaria up 15,000 in 2023

As of Jan. 1, there were 517,407 Jews living in the area, not including eastern Jerusalem.

An Israeli flag in the Jordan Valley, near the community of Ma'ale Efraim, Jan. 2, 2014. Photo by Uri Lenz/Flash90.
An Israeli flag in the Jordan Valley, near the community of Ma'ale Efraim, Jan. 2, 2014. Photo by Uri Lenz/Flash90.

The Jewish population in Judea and Samaria grew by almost 15,000 people last year, according to an annual report compiled by former Israeli lawmaker Ya’akov Katz and based on Interior Ministry data.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, a total of 517,407 Jews lived in the area, which Israel liberated during the 1967 Six-Day War, up from 502,991 on the same date in 2023.

The 500,000-plus Jews living in Judea and Samaria account for an estimated 3.3% of the Jews in the world.

Katz’s figure does not include the nearly 350,000 Jews living in the eastern part of Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim despite it being part of the Jewish state’s capital.

Last year’s growth amounts to a 2.87% increase, the report said. Israel’s total population grew by 1.9% in 2023, per the Central Bureau of Statistics.

“Despite massive internal Israeli media attempts to delegitimize residents of Judea and Samaria, and despite international pressures to halt the growth of the population, the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria continues to blossom at a rate much higher than the rest of the country,” Baruch Gordon, director of the annual report, told JNS.

The Jewish population in Judea and Samaria has grown 15.11% since 2019, when 449,508 Jews lived in the area, according to the report.

Some of the fastest-growing towns include Mevo Dotan in northern Samaria, Ma’ale Amos and Nokdim in eastern Gush Etzion, and the Jordan Valley farming communities of Masu’a and Na’ama.

The report projects the Jewish population in the area to reach 613,554 by 2030; 706,233 by 2035; and 1,020,506 by 2047.

“If construction in Judea and Samaria will become a priority, as it as under the administration of [former Israeli Prime Minister] Yitzhak Shamir between 1990 and 1992, when they built 65,000 [housing] units, then we will reach a million Jews in Judea and Samaria at a much faster rate,” stated Gordon.

“Alongside that, we will solve a huge housing crisis in Israel at a very low cost to the government,” said Gordon.

“You’ve got plenty of state-owned lands in Judean and Samaria that are not far from the center that could 100% solve the housing crisis and return to the situation where every young couple will have within its reach the ability to purchase an apartment,” he explained.

Between Oct. 7 and Jan. 15, the Hatzalah Judea and Samaria rescue group recorded more than 2,600 terrorist attacks against Israelis in the area, including 760 cases of rock-throwing, 551 fire bombings, 12 attempted or successful stabbings and nine vehicular assaults.

“Anyone who is serious about bringing about a peaceful solution must take into account that the Jews are here to stay in Judea and Samaria,” said Gordon.

According to the researcher, “no one” in the Biden administration regards the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria as a feasible prospect under the current conditions, despite paying “lip service to their voters.”

“They all understand that an overwhelming majority of the Israeli population is against it, and Palestinians are against it,” he said, citing 2014 remarks to that effect in The New York Times by Tareq Abbas, son of Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.

“I think that’s an important statement—that the son of the leader of the Palestinian party, a prominent Ramallah businessman—faced reality 10 years ago and told his father: There’s no change for a state; there are [Jewish] houses everywhere, so let’s just get equal rights like Israeli Arabs, and that way, we can go to the sea, see our cousins in Jaffa and have business deals with people in Tel Aviv,” noted Gordon.

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