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  • Palestinian refugees
    Palestinian boy in Jenin refugee camp. - Jenin, Palestine, January 11, 2011
History

Palestinian refugees

Palestinian refugees are those Palestinians that lived in British Mandatory Palestine, as well as their descendants. They fled the area as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The first stream of refugees arose after the Israeli War of Independence.

The UN Partition Plan

After the Second World War, the situation in British Mandatory Palestine was out of control, so they drew up a partition plan. The United Nations approved this UN Partition Plan at the General Assembly in 1947. This two-state solution divided the territory between the Jews and the Arabs. Both groups could establish their state with Jerusalem as an international zone.

The partition plan met with much criticism from the Arab population. They opposed the creation of a Jewish state and revolted. But on 15 May, one day after the official declaration of the State of Israel, the war started. The Arab neighboring countries invaded Israel, and the Arab-Palestinian population fled en masse to the surrounding nations.

The first flow of refugees

UNRWA

Palestinians receive their monthly food aid at a United Nations distribution center (UNRWA) in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.

According to the Arabs, Israel was to blame for the vast influx of Palestinian refugees. The Israeli army is said to have expelled the Palestinian population from their living environment. Although this was the case in some places, most of the Palestinian communities only got cast out if they posed a strategic threat to the creation of a Jewish state. Besides, many Palestinian Arabs left the territories voluntarily or were called upon to leave by their leaders.

Various Palestinian refugees

Over the years, the influx of refugees increased several times. During the Six-Day War in 1967, for example. But the Arab-Israeli conflict isn’t the only reason for these problems. In 1970, for example, a Palestinian organization revolted against Jordanian rule. What followed was the expulsion of more than half a million Palestinians from Jordan.

Over the years the Palestinian refugees have been housed in refugee camps in neighboring countries. Some of them still live here after all these years. Except for Jordan and Israel, the Palestinians were not included in society, so they have never received civil rights.

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