In 1949 the war between Israel and the Arab states ended with the signing of

In 1949 the war between israel and the arab states

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In 1949, the war between Israel and the Arab states ended with the signing of armistice agreements. The country once known as Palestine was now divided into three parts, each under separate political control. The State of Israel encompassed over 77 percent of the terri- tory. Jordan occupied East Jerusalem and the hill country of central Palestine (the West Bank). Egypt took control of the coastal plain around the city of Gaza (the Gaza Strip). The Palestinian Arab state envisioned by the UN partition plan was never established. The Palestinian Arab Refugees As a consequence of the fighting in Palestine/Israel between 1947 and 1949, over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees. The precise number of refugees, and questions of responsibility for their exodus are sharply disputed. Many Palestinians have claimed that most were expelled in accordance with a Zionist plan to rid the country of its non-Jewish inhabitants. The official Israeli position holds that the refugees fled on orders from Arab political and military leaders. One Israeli military intelligence docu- ment indicates that at least 75 percent of the refugees left due to Zionist or Israeli military actions, psychological campaigns aimed at frightening Arabs into leaving, and direct expulsions. Only about 5 percent left on orders from Arab authorities. There are several well-documented cases of mass expulsions during and after the military opera- tions of 1948-49 and massacres and atrocities that led to large-scale Arab flight. The best-known instance of mass expulsion is that of the 50,000 Arabs of the towns of Lydda and Ramle. The most infamous atrocity occurred at Deir Yasin, a village near Jerusalem, where estimates of the number of Arab residents killed in cold blood by Israeli fighters range from about 125 to over 250. Palestinians Today this term refers to the Arabs — Christian, Muslim and Druze — whose historical roots can be traced to the territory of Palestine as defined by the British mandate borders. About 3 million Palestinians now live within this area, which is divided between the state of Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza; these latter areas were captured and occupied by Israel in 1967. Today, over 700,000 Palestin- ians are citizens of Israel, living inside the country’s 1949 armistice borders. About 1.2 million live in the West Bank (including 200,000 in East Jerusalem) and about one mil- lion in the Gaza Strip. The remainder of the Palestinian people, perhaps another 3 million, lives in diaspora, out- side the country they claim as their national homeland. The largest Palestinian diaspora community, ap- proximately 1.3 million, is in Jordan. Many of them still live in the refugee camps that were established in 1949, although others live in cities and towns. Lebanon and Syria also have large Palestinian populations, many of whom still live in refugee camps. Many Palestinians have moved to Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf countries to work, and some have moved to other parts of the Middle East or other parts of the world. Jordan is the only Arab state to grant citizenship to the Palestinians Girls at school in a refugee camp.
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