Rare Jordanian census hides Palestinian majority

Authorities claim only 6% of population is Palestinian Arab, despite studies showing figure at 60%-80%, amid fears of 'Palestine' in Jordan.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Pro-Palestinian rally in Jordan (file)
Pro-Palestinian rally in Jordan (file)
Reuters

Jordan conducted its first population census in 11 years last November, and the results published on Monday show that the nation continues to deny its Palestinian Arab majority - various studies put the Palestinian population at 60% to 80%.

The unofficial statistics, published in the local Al Ra'i and cited by Yedioth Aharonoth, show that the population of the Hashemite kingdom stands at 9.5 million, a jump of 4.4 million from the 2004 findings.

A considerable part of the increase is due to the influx of Syrian migrants displaced by the war. According to the census, Syrian refugees make up 13.2% of the population and comprise 1.2 million people, with 435,000 of them living in the region of the capital Amman.

Regarding the Palestinian Arab population, the authorities claimed that there are 634,000 living in Jordan, just over 6% of the total population.

No other additional details were given regarding the Palestinian Arabs, in an apparent desire to play down the actual number of Palestinians, which international studies have shown actually stands at over half the total population of Jordan.

The Jordanian government likewise claimed there were only 113,000 Palestinian Arabs in the country in 2004, as part of a long standing campaign to present a Jordanian majority in the country. Jordan is said to be so ardently supporting a "two state solution" in Israel so as to prevent becoming a Palestinian state itself and having the conflict resolved in its own borders.

Jordan's Palestinian figures fall far short of another new census, which itself falls far short of the international research. The Palestinian Authority (PA) published 2015 population figures last month, claiming 5.5 million "Palestinians" live around the world, in an attempt to claim all descendants of Arabs who left Israel during the 1948 War of Independence.

The PA statistics claim 2.2 million Palestinian Arabs live in Jordan, in a higher toll than the Jordanian figure but still a far cry from the 60% to 80% revealed by studies.

Jordan was established by British fiat in 1946 on territory allocated for Israel, as a kingdom for Abdullah I of Saudi Arabia. It is made up of a majority of Palestinian Arabs, while nearly all Arab residents of Judea and Samaria hold Jordanian citizenship - which has lead many to suggest creating a "Palestine" in Jordan.

That call was given even more credence in June, when PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs "one people living in two states."

Despite its 1994 peace agreement with Israel, Jordan has long been a vocal supporter of terrorism against Israel and threatened to revoke the treaty on numerous occasions.



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