Health inequalities between Palestinians and Jews in Israel: The role of extreme spatial segregation

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This paper examines the significance of how spatial inequality explains the health inequalities between Palestinians and Jews in Israel. Israeli policies have created extreme spatial segregation between Palestinians and Jews that is a defining feature of Jewish–Palestinian relations. Furthermore, spatial segregation of Palestinians constitutes a structural condition that limits chances of individual social mobility and socio-economic achievements. This paper seeks to encourage consideration of how spatial inequalities contribute to health inequalities by examining gaps in life expectancy between Palestinians and Jews in Israel. The findings show that the highest level of life expectancy in Israel is among Jews living in dominantly Jewish regions, where only small numbers of Palestinians reside. In the space shared by Jews and Palestinians, where most of the Palestinians reside, Jews have higher life expectancy than Palestinians, yet lower than Jews in the dominantly Jewish regions. The lowest life expectancy is observed among Palestinians living in the shared space. The paper concludes that the lower life expectancy among Palestinians relative to Jews is a result, in part, to their confinement to segregated, peripheral places, characterised by a low level of socio-economic development.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2539
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Palestinians in Israel
  • health inequality
  • life expectancy
  • spatial segregation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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