Israeli Papers Issue no. 64

Spatial/Regional Inequality: Jews and Arabs in “Israeli Areas”, 1995-2012

  • Author: Yinon Cohen
  • Translator: Jibril Mohammed
  • Editor: Antwan Shalhat
  • Number of Pages: 83
  • Date of update: Wednesday, 29 October 2014
  • Price: $0.00

Ramallah - published by the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies - MADAR, Paper 64 of “Israeli Papers” series, titled “Spatial/Regional Inequality: Jews and Arabs in 'Israeli Areas', 1995-2012,” prepared by Israeli researcher Yinon Cohen for the European project – Integrated Territorial Analysis of Neighbourhoods.
The paper traces the scale of geo-spatial inequality in Israel based on the official division of its geographic regions, which include six administrative regions as well as one “area” – the West Bank, by counting, examining, and analysing the data of the central bureau's documents.

The author notes that the Israeli governmental record of statistics holds some demographic, social, and economic statistics that are categorised by regions, and that it considers the West Bank as an area. He also notes that in addition to the comprehensive annual census that are carried out by this bureau, a 20% population sample is taken in order to provide detailed information about those residents, both socially and economically. This sample helps present and compare Israeli residents amongst themselves on all regional levels, which permits comparing the settlement blocks in the West Bank (minus those in East Jerusalem) with the rest of the six regions of Israel – an approach that no research had previously taken in the domain of regional inequality in Israel.

The author presents and discusses the economic, social, and demographic approaches in the seven regions of Israel between 1995 and 2012, drawing upon available documents and a number of comparisons that have been made throughout the different years.

And the researcher notes that he followed Israel's definition of its regions and population and which include not only what the international community considers as regions, but also the regions of occupied East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, along with the Jewish settlers (and not the Palestinian residents) in the occupied West Bank. And based on what has been well-known about socio-economic differences between the Jewish majority of Israel's residents and the Palestinian minority, documents of all regions were submitted by nationality (Jews and Palestinians). He also stresses that one of the benefits of Israel's definition of its regions is that it helps provide a systematic analysis of the economic, social, and demographic characteristics of settlers in the West Bank.
The research focuses on four aspects that control regional Israeli politics, which have existed for a while, as they have formed Israel's spatial policies throughout 65 years, as well as Israel's settlement enterprise in most of the occupied areas of 1967.

The first aspect is Israel's attempts to Judaize the land, could be seen in the latter's monitoring of new Palestinian concentrations, and its attempts to limit the Palestinian-controlled or owned areas. The almost complete freeze of Palestinian expansion since 1949 is painfully clear when compared to that of the hundreds of Jewish concentrations, especially north, south, and the West Bank, where Jews form a minority and/or their population growth had diminished in the past years. Due to land laws, Palestinians are forbidden from residing in most Israeli places.

The second aspect manifests in Israel's purpose (even if it were to be partially applied) to create and maintain a solid Jewish majority, not only in Israeli areas (which, according to Israel's official definition, includes 70 square kilometres of the West Bank, the annexed Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights), but in all other regions.

The research also highlights the third aspect, which could be seen in high regional discrimination among Palestinian and Jewish concentrations, whereby more than 99% of the 1200 Israeli concentrations of 2012 were either entirely Jewish or entirely Palestinian.

As for the fourth aspect, it could be seen in a systematic discrimination towards local Jewish authorities as opposed to Arab ones in financing and investing in infrastructures.

Saturday, October 23, 2021


The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) is an independent research centre specialising in Israeli affairs, based in Ramallah, Palestine. MADAR was established in 2000 by a group of Palestinian intellectuals and academics, including the late poet Mahmoud Darwish, Dr. Lily Feidy, Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Dr. Ahmad Harb, Mr. Walid Al-Ahmad and Mr. Akram Haniyyeh. The centre was registered as a not-for-profit organisation with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, and obtained a research centre’s operational licensing from the Palestinian Ministry of Information.