The number of Jews in Judea and Samaria has grown to 313,000 – double the growth rate of the rest of Israel – according to the latest Civil Administration report.
The Civil Administration report, as quoted by Haaretz, shows that the population in Judea and Samaria grew in the past half-year by 2.75%, and by 5.1% in the past year, and now stands at 312,940. A large part of the growth is due to the hareidi-religious cities of Beitar Illit (6.3%) and Modiin Illit (9,8%) - but even without those cities, Yesha’s growth rate of 3.8% more than doubles that of the rest of Israel, which stands at 1.7%.
Two-thirds of the towns in Yesha grew at a higher rate than the rest of Israel (see below).
MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), one of the original driving forces in the early years of the settlement enterprise, both as top aide to then-Housing Minister Ariel Sharon and as one of the founding members of Beit El, said it's just another step in the glorious return of the Nation of Israel to the Land of Israel.
“The steeply-climbing number of Jews living in Judea and Samaria joins the 300,000 Jews in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem over the Green Line,” Katz said, “and is proof that the eternality of the Nation of Israel is much stronger than the freeze decrees of a weak prime minister who violates his promises. We guarantee that the hundreds of thousands of Jews in Yesha will continue to multiply and will reach into the millions.”
Ketzaleh noted the disproportionate national contributions of the Yesha population: “The pioneers of Yesha already make up the backbone of the commanding echelons in the IDF, as well as the main educational institutions of the country: the Hesder yeshivot, the pre-military academies, the ulpanot [girls’ yeshiva high schools], and the university in Ariel. They are the supporting column of Israeli society. In every generation, G-d gives us heroes who lead us, from the Maccabim, to the pioneers of the Land of Israel of 100 years ago, and up to the settlers of today. These groups are the torch-bearers of the nation’s most internal values: Torah, Nation, Land. They will emerge victorious over the current prime minister and his attempts to humiliate them.”
Sample populations in Judea and Samaria and their growth rate over the past half-year:
Shomron Regional Council – 25,875, up 3.75%
Binyamin Regional Council (Israel’s largest) – 47,636, up 2.5%
Mt. Hevron Regional Council – 5,909, up 3.8%
Gush Etzion Regional Council – 15,818, up 3.5%
Maaleh Adumim – 36,508, up 2.1%
Alfei Menashe – 7,338, up 3.2%
Ariel – 18,264, up 1%
Efrat – 8,674, up 2.4%
Elkanah – 3,460, up 2.4%
Kedumim – 3,840, up 1%
Kiryat Arba – 6,774, up 1%