Who Are the Palestinians of Jerusalem?
Officially, Palestinian Jerusalemites comprise nearly half of the population of Jerusalem within the Israeli-defined municipal boundaries, but unofficially their number is much higher. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Jerusalemites live outside the city and its environs—most not by choice. This topic explores their stories.
Featured in This Topic
What does Jerusalem mean to Palestinians who identify as Jerusalemites? We posed this question to more than a dozen Jerusalemites worldwide.
The Khalidi Library, founded and maintained by the Khalidis, a Jerusalemite family with centuries of history in the city, is a local treasure.
Through her art, Jumana El Husseini searched for the Palestine and the much-beloved Jerusalem that were denied to her during her adult life.
A quick visual overview of the demographic breakdown of Palestinians whom Israel counts as being resident inside the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, based on Israeli data
The Palestinian Jerusalemite women you need to know about this International Women’s Day
Philip Farah hasn’t lived in Jerusalem since 1978, but it remains “a huge part of my psyche.”
The firing of the Ramadan cannon is a centuries-old tradition. How did it begin, and what meanings and memories does it evoke for the community?
A Palestinian woman returns to Jerusalem to rediscover and reclaim her mother’s city for her.
What is it like to be exiled from the city of your birth? A Palestinian Jerusalemite shares his feelings.
Palestinians of Jerusalem—A Photo Essay
Izzeldin Bukhari founded Sacred Cuisine to celebrate Palestinian culinary heritage and his city, Jerusalem, and to express the essence of his Sufi religion, which views feeding others as a form of love.
A photo album depicting the story of the Sabella family, part of the Jerusalem elite, before and after the 1948 War
A well-to-do Jerusalem family was made refugees overnight in 1948; they lost everything but tenaciously remained in their city and gradually rebuilt.
A photo album of the Meo family business, a Jerusalemite Old City landmark for 124 years
The Story in Numbers
Palestinian population of Jerusalem, within the Israeli unilaterally declared municipal boundaries (2019) 
Percentage of Palestinians in the total Jerusalem population (East and West), as tabulated in the Israeli Population Registry (2019) 
Percentage of Muslims in the general Palestinian population of Jerusalem (2019) 
Percentage of Christians in the general Palestinian population of Jerusalem (2019) 
Percentage that Palestinian residents within the Israeli municipal boundaries of Jerusalem comprise of of Israel’s total Palestinian population (citizens and permanent residents) (2019) 
Average number of persons per household among Palestinian Jerusalemites (2019) 
Literacy rate among Palestinians in Jerusalem 
Percentage of Palestinian children living within the Israeli municipal boundaries who live below the Israeli poverty level (versus 33 percent of Jewish children) 
1. Michal Korach and Maya Chosen, Jerusalem Facts and Trends 2021: The State of the City and Changing Trends Facts and Trends (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, 2021), 14. The authors report this percentage as 38, but running the mathematical calculation on the raw data yields a result of 38.32. Data from this source reflect the number of Palestinians entered in the Israeli Population Registry (including both citizens and permanent residents). Unregistered persons and persons with PA IDs living in Jerusalem are not included and may number in the thousands or tens of thousands, but those data are unknown.
2. Korach and Chosen, Jerusalem Facts, 15.
3. Korach and Chosen, Jerusalem Facts, 16.
4. Korach and Chosen, Jerusalem Facts, 16.
5. Korach and Chosen, Jerusalem Facts, 16. This calculation is made by an Israeli institute based on the assumption that both West and occupied East Jerusalem are part of Israel. It is offered as a point of insight, without any political inference or connotation.
6. Korach and Chosen, Jerusalem Facts, 90.
7. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, “Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook—2020” [in Arabic] (July 2020), 76.
8. Association for Civil Rights in Israel, “East Jerusalem—Facts and Figures 2021.”