Israel took control over 774 Palestinian towns and villages, and destroyed 531: Report

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RAMALLAH, May 13 (Xinhua) — Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) Monday said in a report ahead of the 71st anniversary of the 1948 war that the number of Palestinians has increased by nine times since 1948.

Israel took control over 774 towns and villages, and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages, data showed.

The Nakba, which means catastrophe, for the Palestinian people is marked on May 15 each year, in memory of the forcible transfer of two thirds of the Palestinians and ethnic cleansing of at least 418 villages as a result of the 1948 war.

According to official data, in the 1948 war, Israel was responsible for the displacement of nearly 800,000 Palestinians.

The majority of the displaced Palestinians ended up in refugee camps in neighboring Arab countries, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“The Palestinian population in the world totaled 13.1 million by the end of 2018, which means that the number of Palestinians in the world has increased more than nine times since the Nakba in 1948,” said the report.

It added that 4.9 million Palestinians, over half of the population, currently live in Palestine by the end of 2018, and 1.57 million others in territories Israel occupied in 1948.

On the statistics of Palestinian refugees, the report said that based on United Nations Relief and Work Agency records, “the total number of Palestinian refugees was 6.02 million, 28.4 percent of whom live in 58 camps.”

Ten refugee camps are located in Jordan, nine in Syria, 12 in Lebanon, 19 in the West Bank and eight in the Gaza Strip.

According to the PCBS, the population density in Palestine at the end of 2018 was 816 individuals per square km. And 66 percent of the total population of Gaza Strip are refugees, the report added.