Palestinian census-takers fan out across Gaza, West Bank

October 18, 2007 19:21

Palestinian surveyors fanned out across Gaza and the West Bank on Thursday, counting homes and people in the first census in a decade, a rare joint endeavor of bitter rivals Hamas and Fatah. Demographics play a central role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians have a high birth rate, almost double Israel's, forcing Israel to consider the possibility that Jews, despite Jewish immigration, could be one day a minority in historic Palestine. Rapid Palestinian population growth was a key factor in Israel's decision to pull out of the densely populated Gaza Strip in 2005.

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