During the Israeli War of Independence in 1948 an Arab refugee crisis began, and there is still not a clear answer of what caused it. As inhabitants of Israel Arabs were greatly affected by the establishment of a Jewish State, because their home was governed by others. Nonetheless, the Palestinian Arabs contributed in the making of the refugee crisis. The Arabs were given the choice of becoming equal citizens of Israel and refused. The United Nations came up with Partition Plan for Palestine, but it was rejected. Therefore, instead of having their own country the Arabs fled to neighboring Arab countries to avoid the crossfire of impending war. Arabs were thrown out of their homes by the Haganah (pre-state army), and placed in new homes within Israel. Many neighboring Arab countries rejected the Palestinian Arabs from residing there, worsening the crisis. Although the Arabs were invited to stay in Israel and become citizens after the War of Independence, they rejected due to their own unwillingness to live in a Jewish State resulting in an refugee crisis.
There is a disagreement about the number of Arabs who became refugees during the war. Many Arabs claim there were 800,000 to 1,000,000 who became refugees in 1947 to 1949. But a census taken by the British in 1954 said that there were only 756,000 Arab residents in Israel, disputing the Arab claim. The United Nations found that there were a total of 809,000 Arabs living in Israel. An Israeli government census taken in 1947, found that there were 160,000 Arabs living in Israel after the war. This means that no more than 650,000 Arabs could have become refugees; a UN report found that is was a lower number, 472,000. These numbers are an example of the conflict...
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Kimmerling, Baruch, and Joel S. Migdal. The Palestinian People: A History (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003).
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