GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A senior U.N. official says a new U.N. study projecting rapid growth in the Palestinian population should serve as a "wake up call" to Israel and the international community.
Anders Thomsen, director of the U.N. Population Fund's office in the Palestinian territories, said Tuesday that without international attention, growth in the Palestinian population, particularly Gaza, will lead to higher unemployment, strained infrastructure and an increased lure of militant groups.
The study found that the population in the Palestinian territories will double to 9.5 million by 2050.
The projected population boom would likely exacerbate the electricity shortage in Gaza and complicate efforts to resolve Gaza's water crisis.
An increase in early marriages and low contraceptive usage contribute to the high fertility rate in the Palestinian territories.