Israel’s Creation and Ethnic Cleansing: The 1948 Palestine War, which led to the creation of Israel left Palestinian society leaderless, disorganized, and scattered. More than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs –about half of prewar Palestine’s Arab population— fled from their homes or were expelled by Zionist militias during this war.

The exodus, known as Nakba, was the central component of the fracturing, dispossession, and displacement of Palestinian society. Around 400 to 600 Palestinian villages were destroyed. In a biological warfare programme, village wells were poisoned, and properties were looted to prevent Palestinian refugees from returning. About 80 percent of the Arab inhabitants of what became Israel left or were expelled from their homes.

About 250,000-300,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled during the 1947-1948 civil war in Mandatory Palestine, before the declaration of independence by Israel in May 1948. Causes of Palestinian mass exodus are many such as destruction of Arab villages, Jewish military advances, psychological warfare, fears of yet another massacre by Zionist militias after the Deir Yassin massacre, direct expulsion orders by Israeli authorities, fear of losing everything by wealthier classes, typhoid epidemic in some areas caused by Israeli well-poisoning, total collapse in Palestinian leadership, Arab evacuation orders and unwillingness to live under Jewish control.

Later on, the Israeli government passed a series of land and property laws that prevented Arabs who had fled, from returning to their ancestral homes or claiming their properties. They and many of their descendants remain refugees still and are not allowed back into Palestine while since its founding, any Jewish person can come and settle in Israel.

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