Following are excerpts from a report on a Palestinian from Gaza with hundreds of grandchildren, aired on Press TV on September 8, 2010:
Reporter: According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, CBS, more than 4,000,000 Palestinians reside in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In the past 13 years, their population has grown by over 45% – one of the highest population growth rates in the world. But in Gaza the population is rising by about 5% every year, and the average marriage age is twenty. A Palestinian woman gives birth to three children on average.
82-year-old Abu Tallal Al-Najjar, who lives in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, has 31 children – the youngest [of whom] is two years old – and has racked up some 11 wives over the years. Currently, he only has four. This legendary man has 430 grandchildren.
Abu Tallal Al-Najjar: Since Israel has killed many Palestinians, I decided to have many wives and children. I am not worried about these children, because if I lose 200 of my grandchildren, I still have 200 left.
Reporter: The youngest of his current four wives is about 50 years younger than him, and he still has no plans to stop having more babies, saying he can manage to have another 10 or 15 kids. But sometimes he finds it difficult to remember the names of his surviving children: seventeen girls and thirteen boys.
Abu Tallal Al-Najjar: I am still healthy and want to have more kids. It is fun to have so many wives. I even tell my sons to have many wives and lots of children. We celebrate each time a new baby is born.
Reporter: Abu Tallal was born in Gaza in 1928 during the British mandate of Palestine. He is something of a legend. With his many children, he has spawned one of the Strip’s largest families.
Yousuf Al-Hilu, Press TV, Gaza.