From the period of the Crusades to the beginning of modern times, the population of Palestine remained at a near constant level.2This apparent stability is significant, as populations naturally tend to increase over time. This group represented about one-eighth of all Palestinians and by 1952 roughly the same proportion of the Israeli population. Estimates … The failure of this venture and al-Ḥusaynī’s lack of credibility because of his collaboration with the Axis powers during World War II did much to weaken Palestinian Arab nationalism in the 1950s. Estimates of the number of Arabs displaced from their original homes, villages, and neighbourhoods during the period from December 1947 to January 1949 range from about 520,000 to about 1,000,000; there is general consensus, however, that the actual number was more than 600,000 and likely exceeded 700,000. Through a series of political and social policies, Jordan sought to consolidate its control over the political future of Palestinians and to become their speaker. About 100,000 of these went to Lebanon, 100,000 to Jordan, between 75,000 and 90,000 to Syria, 7,000 to 10,000 to … More than one-fifth of Palestinian Arabs left Palestine altogether. 295,000 ~300,000. Others arrived as tourists, and never returned to their former countries. Most of Palestine's population, estimated to be around 200,000 in the early years of Ottoman rule, lived in villages. Until the establishment of Israel, the term Palestinian was used by Jews and foreigners to describe the inhabitants of Palestine and had only begun to be used by the Arabs themselves at the turn of the 20th century. In September 1949, the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine estimated 711,000 Palestinian refugees existed outside Israel, with about one-quarter of the estimated 160,000 Palestinian Arabs remaining in Israel as "internal refugees". 7, Created July, 2004, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East Ever since the founding of the Zionist movement, supporters of Zionism have downplayed the fact that historic Palestine had always had a healthy indigenous population. ©2007-2017 CJPME. The Jewish community found other ways to emigrate to Palestine, exploiting loopholes in the Mandatory government’s immigration regulations. A dynamic population : In effect, from the end of the 1860s to the beginning of the 1880s, Palestine’s population grew, reaching 470,000 residents in 1882. The Arabs living in Palestine had never had a separate state. General Facts & Figures . Source: Esco Foundation (1947. Although the refugees were provided with rent-free accommodations and basic services such as water, health care, and education (UNRWA ran both elementary and secondary schools in the camps, teaching more than 40,000 students by 1951), poverty and misery were widespread. Palestinians who continued to live in refugee camps felt a greater sense of alienation and dislocation than the more fortunate ones who found jobs and housing and became integrated into the national economies of the countries in which they resided. Palestine is the name (first referred to by the Ancient Greeks) of an area in the Middle East situated between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. President of the 10th Zionist Congress, Basle 1911 - nearly 14 years after Herzl's declaration. By the late 1960s, as agriculture declined and social customs related to such events as bride selection and marriage broke down, the old patriarchal clan system had all but collapsed. The term nakba, implying in Arabic one of the world's greatest disasters and first em… But after 1948—and even more so after 1967—for Palestinians themselves the term came to signify not only a place of origin but, more importantly, a sense of a shared past and future in the form of a Palestinian state. This increase corresponds with a greater sense of safety in Palestine (with the exception of the 1876-78 Balkan war period), a spreading/increase of agricultural production, a consequent increase in the value of exports and better sanitary and medical … Both the demographic statistics themselves, as well as the history of Jewish emigration to Palestine in the 1930s tell an important story. Emigration and Population Statistics of Palestine The below estimates are based primarily on the reports of the British Mandate for Palestine and the Mandatory censuses, conducted only in 1922 and 1931. At this time, a number of disparate Jewish groups in Europe had begun cooperating to begin modest agricultural settlement in historic Palestine. The majority of fellahin ended up in refugee camps. Egyptian rule was generally repressive. The rate of unemployment was high; many of the Palestinians lived in refugee camps, depending primarily on UN aid (see below). The Zionist Movement has long called Palestine “A land without a people, for a people without a land,” a slogan that galvanised Jews to move to Palestine and eventually led to the large-scale displacement of indigenous Palestinians. Total Population % Jewish. com. ); Jews – S. Della Pergola (2001). Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, The Herodian house and the Roman procurators, The partition of Palestine and its aftermath, Diverging histories for Palestinian Arabs, The role of Palestinians outside formerly mandated Palestine, The Arab-Israeli war of 1967 and its consequences, The PLO’s struggle for Palestinian autonomy, Palestinians and the civil war in Lebanon, Negotiations, violence, and incipient self-rule, Split administration of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Blockade and 2008 conflict in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority bid for statehood recognition, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Although the Arabs of Palestine had been creating and developing a Palestinian identity for about 200 years, the idea that Palestinians form a distinct people is relatively recent. By the time WWII had begun, tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants had arrived illegally in Palestine by ship. The violent birth of Israel led to a major displacement of the Arab population, who either were driven out by Zionist military forces before May 15, 1948, or by the Israeli army after that date or fled for fear of violence by these forces. Immediately with the declaration of the independent State of Israel in 1948 the First Arab-Israeli War began; a considerable part of the Palestinian Arab population had left the areas with a heavy Jewish population, on the advice of Arab leaders to make place for the Arab armies; others had left due to Israeli acts to terrorize the Arab population (Deir Yassin; see Palestinian Exile). Work was scarce, even though UNRWA sought to integrate the Palestinians into the depressed economies of the “host” countries. Over the last seventy years or so, a complex mythology has grown up around events in the Middle East in 1948 Students were not required to have immigration certificates to study in Palestine, so many enrolled at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and then remained in the country. CJPME Factsheet 7, published July, 2004: This Factsheet Provides demographic information of Historical Palestine prior to 1948 in an effort to tell the often erased story of Palestine's idigenous people. Over the next four days they expelled some 33,000 Palestinians from Lydda and Ramleh, after massacring hundreds in one of the most infamous and brutal ‘operations’ of … If we add 3% for natural increase, a very high estimate, we would arrive at 1,274,450 persons at the beginning of 1948. Report and general abstract of the Jewish. The Palestinians sa… On February 7, 1948, Ben-Gurion told the Central Committee of Mapai (the largest Zionist political party in Palestine) "it is most probable that in the 6, 8 or 10 coming months of the struggle many great changes will take place, very great in this country and not all of them to our disadvantage, and surely a great change in the composition of the population in the country." All figures following 1931 are estimates; most figures as of Dec. 31 of each year. Whether there was significant Arab immigration into Palestine during the 19th and 20th centuries, especially after the beginning of Zionist settlement there in the late 19th century has become a matter of some controversy. The Jordanian monarchy saw in the events of 1948–49 the opportunity to expand Jordanian territory and to integrate Palestinians into its population and thereby create a new inclusive Jordanian nationality. Ottoman census figures were for various districts, e.g. Loss of home and income lowered morale. In May 1950 UNRWA established a total of 53 refugee “camps” on both sides of the Jordan River and in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Syria to assist the 650,000 or more Arab refugees it calculated needed help. Because much of their land was confiscated, Arabs were forced to abandon agriculture and become unskilled wage labourers, working in Jewish industries and construction companies. It provided education and, in 1949, extended citizenship to Palestinians; indeed, a majority of all Palestinians became Jordanian citizens. Initially refugees in the improvised camps lived in tents, but after 1958 these were replaced by small houses of concrete blocks with iron roofs. CJPME Factsheet 7, published July, 2004: This Factsheet Provides demographic information of Historical Palestine prior to 1948 in an effort to tell the often erased story of Palestine's idigenous people. The Gaza Strip, 25 miles (40 km) long and 4–5 miles (6–8 km) wide, became one of the most densely populated areas of the world, with more than four-fifths of its population urban. À l'heure actuelle, la diaspora palestinienne compte environ 6 millions d'individus. Pre-Arab/Islamic influences on the Palestinian national identity If economic capacity permitted, 75,000 Jews would be allowed to come to Palestine, after which “no further Jewish immigration will be permitted unless the Arabs are prepared to acquiesce to it.”, Emigration and Population Statistics of Palestine, The below estimates are based primarily on the reports of the British Mandate for Palestine and the Mandatory censuses, conducted only in 1922 and 1931. The Arabs of Palestine began widely using the term Palestinian starting in the pre-World War I period to indicate the nationalist concept of a Palestinian people. As the Jewish population in Palestine increased, the Arab population put pressure on the British government to control the immigration. Some 276,000 moved to the West Bank; by 1949 more than half the prewar Arab population of Palestine lived in the West Bank (from 400,000 in 1947 to more than 700,000). However, there is no hard evidence that more than 100,000 or 200,000 (out of about 1.3 million in all of Palestine, and about 7-800,000 in the area that was to become Israel in 1948) Palestinians had immigrated to the land that was to become Israel. About 100,000 of these went to Lebanon, 100,000 to Jordan, between 75,000 and 90,000 to Syria, 7,000 to 10,000 to Egypt, and 4,000 to Iraq. Nevertheless, with increased persecution of Jews in Europe, many Jews were not willing to wait years for immigration certificates. Palestinians living in the region were denied citizenship, which rendered them stateless (i.e., it left them without citizenship of any nation), and they were allowed little real control over local administration. Jewish emigration to historic Palestine grew over the first decades of the 20th century, especially during the 1930s. The population of Ottoman “Palestine” is difficult to estimate because: 1) There was no administrative district of Palestine. Nevertheless, the Ottoman census of 1878 indicated the following demographics for the Jerusalem, Nablus, and Acre districts: Palestinian Demographics under the British Mandate Government. 1947: Palestinians – S. Abu Sitta (pers. A British-American commission of inquiry in 1945 and 1946 reported that, at the end of 1946, 1,269,000 Arabs (67.6 percent) and 608,000 Jews (32.4 percent) resided within the borders of Mandate Palestine. “International Relations in the Middle East“ is an online course on Janux. In 1948 Amīn al-Ḥusaynī declared a Government of All Palestine in the Gaza Strip. In 1935 alone, almost 5,000 Jews entered the county illegally through these various means. It should be noted that many of these persecuted European Jews were illegal immigrants according to the Government of Palestine, which ceased to exist as of May 14th, 1948. the Jerusalem, Acco and Nablus districts. [56] More than 400 Arab villages disappeared, and Arab life in the coastal cities (especially Jaffa and Haifa) virtually disintegrated. In the peace talks that followed the end of the war, parts of the O… The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Der UN-Teilungsplan für Palästina sah die Gründung eines arabischen und eine… Era: British Mandate (1920—1948) Further reading. Between 400 and 600 Palestinian villageswere sacked during the war, while urban Palestine was almost entirely destroyed. The revolt, led by the mufti and head of the Arab Higher Committee Hajj Amin al-Husayni, was the first large-scale expression of a sense of Palestinian nationalism. Half the seats in the Jordanian Chamber of Deputies were reserved for representatives from the West Bank, but this measure and similar attempts to integrate the West Bank with the area lying east of the Jordan River were made difficult by the significant social, economic, educational, and political differences between the residents of each. Acknowledgements: The Palestinian History Tapestry Project is indebted to Professor Salman Abu Sitta for help in compiling the data on which the embroidered infographic has been based. The Arab population also grew during this period, due to a combination of high birthrates, British recruitment of workers from Syria, and workers from the Trans-Jordan lured by higher wages. However, tensions soon developed between original Jordanian citizens and the better-educated, more skilled newcomers. Between 160,000 and 190,000 fled to the Gaza Strip. Nearly 1,400,000 Arabs lived in Palestine when the war broke out. Often they were the victims of discrimination, as well as being closely supervised by the respective governments intent on limiting their political activities. On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution "recommending to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union", UN General Assembly Resolution 181(II). The Ottoman Empire reigned over the land of Palestine during the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, if we add the elusive 50,000 Bedouin of the Negev, who do not appear in the 1946 figures, and apparently did not exist or could not be counted, the numbers would be larger. By the mid-1950s, the Palestinian population inside Israel had become about 195,000. Most of the agricultural lands they had formerly worked were now inaccessible, and little or no industry was allowed, but commerce flourished as Gaza became a kind of duty-free port for Egyptians. In 1936, responding to the growing Jewish population, Palestinian Arabs led an armed revolt against the British and Jews in Palestine. The centre of Palestinian life shifted to the Arab towns of the hilly eastern portion of the region—which was immediately west of the Jordan River and came to be called the West Bank. Wealthy Palestinians lived in the towns of the eastern and western sides of the Jordan River, competing for positions within the government, while the fellahin filled the UN refugee camps. Many wealthy merchants and leading urban notables from Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem fled to Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan, while the middle class tended to move to all-Arab towns such as Nāblus and Nazareth. The 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as the Nakba (Arabic: النكبة‎, al-Nakbah, literally "disaster", "catastrophe", or "cataclysm"), occurred when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs – about half of prewar Palestine's Arab population – fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Palestine war. Like everything else in the Arab-Israeli conflict, population figures are hotly disputed. 1948: 806,000: 1972: 3,225,000: 1996: 5,689,000: 1949: 1,174,000: 1973: 3,338,000: 1997: … The history of the Palestinian exodus is closely tied to the events of the war in Palestine, which lasted from 1947 to 1949, and to the political events preceding it. There are scant Ottoman data on important statistics, such as age of marriage, fertility, and mortality, although mortality and fertility rates have been estimated through the u… Although the camps strengthened family and village ties, their demoralized inhabitants were isolated from mainstream Palestinian political activities during the 1950s. This was an attempt to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict by partitioning Palestine into Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Spe… Zionists trumpeted the falsehood widely: “A land without a people, for a people without a land.”  While this slogan encouraged Jewish emigration to historic Palestine, it also paved the way for one of the largest dispossessions in modern history. 1922-1946: Total population and Jews – S. Abu Sitta (2010). Approximately 150,000 Arabs remained in Israel when the Israeli state was founded. As citizens of the State of Israel, in theory they were guaranteed equal religious and civil rights with Jews. Als Nakba (arabisch النكبة, DMG an-Nakba, hebräisch הקטסטרופה), deutsch Katastrophe oder Unglück, wird im arabischen Sprachgebrauch die Flucht und Vertreibung von etwa 700.000 arabischen Palästinensern aus dem früheren britischen Mandatsgebiet Palästina bezeichnet, das zu einem Teil am 14. It is known that the Arab population of Palestine doubled during the British Mandate era, from 670,000 in 1922 to over 1.2 million in 1948, and there has been considerable debate over the subject on how much of this growth was due to natural increase, as opposed to immigration. In reality, however, until 1966 they lived under a military jurisdiction that imposed severe restrictions on their political options and freedom of movement. It is known that the population of Palestine increased greatly between, say, 1880 and 1948. Apart from Jewish immigration there was also considerable Arab immigration (partly related to the economic impetus the Jews immigrants supplied to the land). Demographics of Palestine under the Ottomans. Israel was established in May 1948. If one chief theme in the post-1948 pattern was embattled Israel and a second the hostility of its Arab neighbours, a third was the plight of the huge number of Arab refugees. The majority of them lived in villages in western Galilee. 1.7%. In December 1949 the UN General Assembly created the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to assist the Palestinian refugees. Die PLO strebt unter Führung von Mahmud Abbas, dessen Präsidentschaft eines Staates Palästina von seiner Rolle als Präsident der Palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde getrennt ist,[10] die Anerkennung eines Staates Palästina als Vollmitglied bei den Vereinten Nationen sowie die volle Souveränität über die beanspruchten Gebiete an. Between 160,000 and 190,000 fled to the Gaza Strip. Zionist momentum made the dispossession of Palestinian communities an inevitable part of the state of Israel's establishment in 1948. Ottoman property administration consisted of a system of fiefs called timar and trusts called waqf. Herzl missed his goal by only 1 year. The Acre district included areas in Lebanon, outside the borders of historic Palestine; 2) Both Arabs and Jews avoided the Turkish census for three reasons: a) to avoid taxes, b) to avoid military conscription, and c) to avoid questions of illegal residence; 3) The census figures didn’t include Bedouins and foreign subjects (i.e. During the 20 years the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control (1948–67), it remained little more than a reservation. Henceforth the term Palestinian will be used when referring to the Arabs of the former mandated Palestine, excluding Israel. Following British withdrawal, the Zionists, already in control of much of the territory of the post-war state, increased their efforts to remove the remaining Palestinian population. Not a Jewish State" . Mai 1948 als Staat Israel seine Unabhängigkeit erlangte. Population data on the Ottoman Palestinians are limited, but they are sufficient to provide reasonable approximations of total population. ), Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) 580 Sainte-Croix Ave, Suite 060, Montreal, QC,  H4L 3X5. For almost 20 years after Israel was established, Palestinian citizens of Israel were isolated from other Arabs. Palestine was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 and remained under the rule of the Turks until World War One. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Ever since the founding of the Zionist movement, supporters of Zionism have downplayed the fact that historic Palestine had always had a healthy indigenous population. With the Arab world in a period of renaissance popularizing notions of Arab unity and nationalism amid the decline of the Ottoman Empire, most saw themselves as part of the larger Arab or Muslim community. While the British intercepted some of the ships, almost all of the immigrants were eventually able to settle in Palestine. Palestine prior to 1948 Factsheet Series No. Some 276,000 moved to the West Bank; by 1949 more than half the prewar Arab population of Palestine lived in the West Bank (from 400,000 in 1947 to more than 700,000). Young women entered the country claiming fictitious marriages to Palestinian residents. "The aim of Zionism is the erection for the Jewish people of a publicly recognised, legally secured home in Palestine. Towards the end of this war, the Turks were defeated by the British forces led by General Allenby. 5,000. These groups first came together formally in 1897 for the first Zionist Conference in Basel, Switzerland. Poverty and social misery became characteristic of life in the region. However, because it was totally dependent on Egypt, it was short-lived. For several centuries during the Ottoman period the population in Palestine declined and fluctuated between 150,000 and 250,000 inhabitants, and it was only in the 19th century that a rapid population growth began to occur. By 1948, the population had risen to 1,900,000, of whom 68% were Arabs, and 32% were Jews (UNSCOP report, including Bedouin). More than one-fifth of Palestinian Arabs left Palestine altogether. Thus, in 1934, the Vallos became the first chartered immigration ship to arrive in Palestine, carrying 350 Jews. Most of them remained politically quiescent, and many acquiesced to the reality of an Israel governed according to the ideology of Zionism. Palestinians constituted about two-thirds of the population of Jordan. Although some Gaza Strip Palestinians were able to leave the territory and gain an education and find employment elsewhere, most had no alternative but to stay in the area, despite its lack of natural resources and jobs. Palestinians found employment in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and the Persian Gulf states, but only a few were able to become citizens of those countries. Thus, in the 1920s, the British restricted Jewish immigration by fixing quotas and authorizing certain Jewish organizations to distribute immigration certificates as they saw fit. Between 1948 and the mid-1950s, some 30,000, or 15 percent of the population… All figures following 1931 are estimates; most figures as of Dec. 31 of each year. population movements, 1948-1951 THE SUEZ WAR, 1956 LAND OWNERSHIP IN PALESTINE AND THE UN PARTITION PLAN - PALESTINIAN DEPOPULATED AND DESTROYED VILLAGES, 1948-1949 Settled population, excluding the nomadic Bedouins, by town and sub-district estimated as … Many also sought to ameliorate their circumstances through electoral participation, education, and economic integration. April 1948 (Photo: AFP) For further reference, see our previously released fact sheets, The Nakba: 65 Years of Dispossession and Apartheid, and The 65th Plan Dalet: Blueprint for Ethnic Cleansing. The largest cities were Gaza, Safad and Jerusalem, each with a population of around 5,000–6,000. They were, however, allowed to attend Egyptian universities and, at times, to elect local officials. Inwieweit die derzeit von der PLO kontrollierte Autonomiebehörde verwaltungs- und regierungstechnisch in einem solchen Staat aufgehen oder abgelöst werden soll, ist G… 1517. Israel sought to impede the development of a cohesive national consciousness among the Palestinians by dealing with various minority groups, such as Druze, Circassians, and Bedouin; by hindering the work of the Muslim religious organizations; by arresting and harassing individuals suspected of harbouring nationalist sentiments; and by focusing on education as a means of creating a new Israeli Arab identity. This illegal shipping of immigrants continued well into the 1940s. Conditions were extremely harsh; often several families had to share one tent, and exposure to the extreme winter and summer temperatures inflicted additional suffering. On 9 July 1948, Israeli forces broke the first truce of the war. Modern Zionism was a movement born in Europe in the 19th century. In 1939, concerned with the rising tensions in Palestine due to the massive Jewish immigration – both legal and illegal – the British government issued Parliamentary Document 6019, slated to limit the Jewish population in Palestine to no more than one third the total. The Palestinian population has grown dramatically. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. individuals with foreign citizenship, without Ottoman residency status) of which there were about 10,000 Jews. Jordanian Palestinians, other than the notable families favoured by the Jordanian monarchy, tended to support the radical pan-Arab and anti-Israeli policies of Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser rather than the more cautious and conciliatory position of Jordan’s King Ḥussein.