“We must all understand that the most potent weapons of war are the penis and the womb. Therefore, if you cannot convince a group to control its population by discussion, debate, intelligent analysis etc., you must consider their action in using the penis and the womb to increase population an act of war.” - Former Municipal Court Judge Jason G. Brent, Humans: An Endangered Species.
The Guardian: "The Israel-Palestine conflict is clearly not all about resources. But in an age of expensive energy, competition to dominate regional fossil fuels are increasingly influencing the critical decisions that can inflame war."
Palestine Pulse: With the increased population, the proportion of poor people in the Gaza Strip has increased to about 39% of the population, according to the Palestinian Center for Statistics. More than 21% of the population lives in extreme poverty.
According to experts, the absence of population policies in the Gaza Strip and the lack of strategic plans to cope with its growth has turned Gaza’s population into a ticking time bomb. “Population growth,” he said, “is a bomb that can explode at any time and result in economic, social, educational and health consequences.
BBC: Gaza population 'rising rapidly': The population of the Gaza Strip increased by almost 40% between 1997 and 2007, according to the results of a Palestinian census.
SQSwans: "The womb of the Arab woman is my strongest weapon" - Yasser Arafat.
MILINT Earth Day: Guerrylla Laws define the procreation and consumption behaviour of an individual as an Sustainable Leaver (aka Eco-Innocent) or Unsustainable Taker (aka Scarcity-Combatant), based upon a sustainable consumption bio-capacity of 1 global hectare (gha) (60 % of 1.8 gha) in accordance with the proactive conservation policies of Bhutan; multiplied by an individuals Breeding footprint factor of 20 per child.
Unsustainable Taker / Scarcity-Combatant:
* 0 children, consumption > 20 gha (Intn'l biocapacity (1 gha) x 20)
* 1 child, consumption > 1 gha (Intn'l biocapacity (1 gha (2007))
* 2 or more children.
Yasser Arafat: Palestinian Womb is his people‘s greatest asset [Arnon Soffer, a geography professor at Israel's Haifa University and a lecturer at the Israeli Army's Staff and Command college, first warned of the impending Jewish demographic minority in the 1980s, but was widely dismissed. He predicted Arabs would outnumber Jews in both Israel proper and the occupied territories by 2010. In February 2001, the night of his election, Sharon sent an aide to ask Soffer for a copy of his 1987 treatise about the demographic threat to Israel; it was the same study that had led Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to declare in the late 1980s that the "Palestinian womb" was his people's greatest weapon.]
“Arafat had said that the womb of the Palestinian woman was a "biological weapon," which he could use to create Palestine state by crowding people into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.” ― Yasser Arafat [Goodreads]
IDF's Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis
09 July 2014 | Nafeez Ahmed | The Guardian
09 July 2014 | Nafeez Ahmed | The Guardian
Israel's defence minister has confirmed that military plans to 'uproot Hamas' are about dominating Gaza's gas reserves
According to Anais Antreasyan in the University of California's Journal of Palestine Studies, the most respected English language journal devoted to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel's stranglehold over Gaza has been designed to make "Palestinian access to the Marine-1 and Marine-2 gas wells impossible." Israel's long-term goal "besides preventing the Palestinians from exploiting their own resources, is to integrate the gas fields off Gaza into the adjacent Israeli offshore installations." This is part of a wider strategy of:
"…. separating the Palestinians from their land and natural resources in order to exploit them, and, as a consequence, blocking Palestinian economic development. Despite all formal agreements to the contrary, Israel continues to manage all the natural resources nominally under the jurisdiction of the PA, from land and water to maritime and hydrocarbon resources."
In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, the Jerusalem-based Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (Pcati) found that the IDF had adopted a more aggressive combat doctrine based on two principles – "zero casualties" for IDF soldiers at the cost of deploying increasingly indiscriminate firepower in densely populated areas, and the "dahiya doctrine" promoting targeting of civilian infrastructure to create widespread suffering amongst the population with a view to foment opposition to Israel's opponents.
This was confirmed in practice by the UN fact-finding mission in Gaza which concluded that the IDF had pursued a "deliberate policy of disproportionate force," aimed at the "supporting infrastructure" of the enemy - "this appears to have meant the civilian population," said the UN report.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is clearly not all about resources. But in an age of expensive energy, competition to dominate regional fossil fuels are increasingly influencing the critical decisions that can inflame war.
Gaza’s population balloons: With an average 5.7 births for each woman, Gaza’s government has no plans to curtail population growth.
Author Mohammed Othman | April 17, 2014
Author Mohammed Othman | April 17, 2014
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza schools are overcrowded with students. According to interviews Al-Monitor conducted with schoolteachers, the average number of students in classrooms reaches 40 in both public schools and those affiliated with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), reflecting the demographic reality in the Gaza Strip.
“The population of the small Strip, whose area is 365 square kilometers [141 square miles], passed 1.865 million in March, or 5,109 people per square kilometer. Thus, the Gaza Strip is on the list of the most densely populated areas in the world,” said Riad al-Zeitouniya, the head of the Civil Status and Passport Department in the Ministry of Interior of the Gaza government, speaking to Al-Monitor.
According to Zeitouniya, the total number of births in Gaza in 2013 exceeded 56,000, while the first three months of 2014 saw more than 13,000. He added, “The increase of the population in the Gaza Strip is excessive; it is very large. Between 2000 and 2013, the number of Gazans increased by more than 687,000 people.”
A UNRWA report published in 2012 said that by 2020 Gaza’s population will reach 2.1 million, and pointed out that basic infrastructure such as electricity, water, sanitation and social services cannot keep up with the needs of the growing population. The Gaza Strip needs much more electricity, hundreds of new schools and hospitals and thousands of housing units by the year 2020.
“Gaza has become a dense urban area that is currently facing a housing units shortage estimated at about 71,000,” the report added.
Experts attribute this increase in population to the high fertility rate of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The executive director of the Association of Family Planning and Protection, Muyassar Abu Mailaq, told Al-Monitor that the fertility rate for the people of Gaza has long been up to 5.7 children per woman. He said, “According to my work, family-planning methods in all government clinics and those affiliated with UNRWA are available. But some causes have led to increased fertility, thanks to eastern customs and traditions. Palestinian families like procreation, and they don’t consider five or six to be a large number.”
Abu Mailaq said that Gaza's fertility rate would be considered high even for developed countries with a high average income, let alone for a besieged territory suffering a blockade, extreme poverty, high unemployment and low per capita income.
Abu Mailaq warned of worsening health, marital and social problems, as well as educational problems caused by the high number of students in classrooms. There is also an absence of clear government population policies in the narrow Gaza Strip, increasing employment demands and difficult conditions.
It is worth mentioning that in Palestine, along with other Arab countries, laws limiting the number of children per family, such as those in China, are unthinkable. The issue is considered a matter of personal freedom.
Ahmed Fadel, a taxi driver in his 70s who is married to four women, told Al-Monitor that he has 22 children, the youngest of whom is a 5-month-old girl.
Along with the help of some of his adult sons, Fadel is barely able to cover the expenses of his large family, consisting of more than 55 people, including his four wives and grandchildren. But Fadel insists he likes having a large family, saying, "My father liked big families, and I have 15 brothers. Most of my relatives like to have large families. We don't like having two, three or even five. Large families are a good thing, and God will provide for us."
As for Hassan Sobh, 27, who married six years ago, he believes that having many children is not a problem, as a big family provides "protection."
Sobh, who works as a construction worker, told Al-Monitor that he wants a large family, perhaps as many as 20 children. He said, "I now have four sons. Despite the difficult economic situation facing us, I will not stop having children. I love [having children], and there is nothing preventing me from having more."
With the increased population, the proportion of poor people in the Gaza Strip has increased to about 39% of the population, according to the Palestinian Center for Statistics. More than 21% of the population lives in extreme poverty.
According to experts, the absence of population policies in the Gaza Strip and the lack of strategic plans to cope with its growth has turned Gaza’s population into a ticking time bomb. The director of Palthink for Strategic Studies, Omar Shaban, told Al-Monitor that the problem has become worse as no Gaza government — nor the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank or the international community — have put forward plans to cope with the population growth.
“Population growth,” he said, “is a bomb that can explode at any time and result in economic, social, educational and health consequences. The population in the Gaza Strip is one of the key challenges not only for the Palestinian political regime but also for the regional powers. It is a Palestinian, Arab and international responsibility. Unfortunately, not enough attention is being paid to develop solutions. There are warnings, as in the UNRWA report a year ago, and these warnings don’t propose any solutions.”
Shaban accused the Palestinian governments of excluding civil society institutions when putting together plans.
The UNRWA report concluded that in the absence of effective and sustainable remedial action and a favorable policy environment, the current challenges facing the people of Gaza will get worse. The UN expects the population to increase by 500,000 by 2020, warning the situation will get worse if action is not taken.
Mohammed Othman is a journalist from the Gaza Strip. He graduated from the Faculty of Media in the Department of Radio and Television at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza in 2009. He has received a number of Palestinian and Arab awards, including first place at the Arab Press Awards in Dubai in the category of Youth Press during its tenth session in 2011 and the Press Freedom Award from the Palestinian Government Media Center during its first session in 2011. He also received the third place award for investigative reporting of corruption cases, organized by the Media Development Center at Birzeit University and the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2013.