Regional ComparisonAlthough the infant and child mortality rates are falling, they are still relatively high. In general q(x) also varies by gender and region of the occupied territories (Abu-libdeh et.al 1992). For example, in both the UNICEF and FALCOT 92 studies, girls seem to be at a higher risk of dying before ages 1 or 5 than boys are. This indicates that boys are treated better than girls, as mortality is normally higher for boys than for girls, although the reverse is found in some developing countries. Moreover, the UNICEF results indicate that mortality estimates for West Bank are consistently higher than those for the Gaza Strip. Within the West Bank, q(x) is the highest in the southern region and in rural areas. Looking at patterns of decline in q(1) and q(5), table 2.9 presents point estimates obtained from the FALCOT 92, UNICEF and JFPPA surveys and official Israeli reported q(1) for West Bank excluding Arab Jerusalem.
Table 2.9 Comparisons of estimates of probability of dying by exact age 1 and 5 for FALCOT 92, UNICEF and JFPPA and Israeli reported figures for West Bank
As can be seen from the table, the decline of q(x) is more systematic for the UNICEF and JFPPA than for the FAFO estimates. The reflections of the estimates of q(x) on the well-being of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories is emphasized by comparison with neighbouring countries. Table 2.10 presents trends in q(x) for FALCOT 92 as compared to that of Jordan (UNICEF 1990), Syria (UNICEF 1988), Israeli Jews of Israel and Palestinian Arabs in Israel (ICBS, selected years).
Recently published estimates for Jordan 1990 are 36.4 and 37.3 for q(1) and 42.2 and 42.7 for boys and girls, respectively (Zou'bi, Poedjastoeti and Ayad 1992).
We see (table 2.10) that the FAFO estimates for the occupied territories fall between the mortality rates for Jordan and Syria. On the other hand, they are considerably higher than the Israeli estimates for the occupied territories. Moreover, but not surprisingly, they are fully 5-6 times higher than the infant and child mortality rates for the Jewish population in Israel.
Table 2.10 Comparisons of estimates of probability of dying by exact age 1 and 5 for FALCOT 92, Jordan, Syria, and Israel. Deaths per 100 births