Objectives: The purpose of the study was to estimate health expectancy for the Palestinian population and to evaluate changes that have taken place over the past 5 years. Design: Mortality data and population-based health surveys. Setting: The Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Participants: 17 034 and 38 071 adults aged 20 or over participating the Palestinian Family Health Surveys of 2006 and 2010. Death rates for 2007 and 2010 covered the entire population. Outcome measures: Life expectancy and expected lifetime with and without chronic disease were estimated using the Sullivan method on the basis of mortality data and data on the prevalence of chronic disease. Results: Life expectancy at the age of 20 increased from 52.8 years in 2006 to 53.3 years in 2010 for men and from 55.1 years to 55.7 years for women. In 2006, expected lifetime without a chronic disease was 37.7 (95% CI 37.0 to 38.3) years and 32.5 (95% CI 31.9 to 33.2) years for 20-year-old men and women, respectively. By 2010, this had decreased by 1.6 years for men and increased by 1.3 years for women. The health status of men has worsened. In particular, lifetime with hypertension and diabetes has increased. For women, the gain in life expectancy consisted partly of years with and partly of years without the most prevalent diseases. Conclusions: Health expectancy for men and women diverged, which could to some extent be due to gender-specific exposures related to lifestyle factors and the impact of military occupation.