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RAMALLAH, West Bank — The number of Palestinian Arabs and Jews in Israel and the occupied areas will be equal by 2016, but the number of Palestinians will exceed Jews by 2020, a report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said Monday.

It estimated there will be 11.6 million Palestinians worldwide at the end of 2012, of whom 4.4 million are in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and 1.4 million in Israel.

The PCBS estimated the number of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories at 5.8 million at the end of 2012 compared with a predicted 6 million Jews. It forecast the number of Palestinians and Jews will total about 6.5 million each by the end of 2016.

However, with a Palestinian fertility rate at 3.3 births in Israel, and 4.4 million in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, compared with 3 births among Jews, the number of Palestinians will reach 7.2 million in 2020 compared with 6.9 million Jews.

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The PCBS said 2.7 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 1.7 million live in the Gaza Strip.

According to Israel, its population at the end of 2012 stands at nearly 8 million, of whom 5.9 million are Jews and 1.4 million are Arabs. The rest are Christian or other denominations.

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