On average, an Israeli earns $30,000 a year whereas the average Palestinian earns a tenth of this, less than $3,000. 23.6% of Israelis live below the poverty line compared with 46% in the West Bank and 70% in the Gaza Strip.
Israel has a population of about 7.5 million, 20% of whom are Palestinian Arabs. There are about 4 million Palestinians living in what is known as the ‘Palestinian Territories’. This term includes the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. There are also an estimated 4-5 million Palestinian refugees living outside of Palestine/Israel.
The Israeli occupation controls Palestinian movement (people and goods) through a network of checkpoints and obstacles such as roadblocks and roads reserved for settlers only.
Palestinian domestic water supply averages 50 – 70 litres per capita per day (lpcd). The World Health Organisation recommends that minimum water supply be 100 lpcd to ensure good health and hygiene practices. Israeli domestic consumption averages 280 lpcd.
The Christian Community
There has been a Christian community in the Holy Land since the very beginning of Christianity. Although the conflict is often portrayed as a struggle against militant Islam, there is a minority Christian community who always have and continue to play an important role in Palestinian society.