by Nihad Boqa’i
Palestinian internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside Israel are part of the larger Palestinian refugee population that was displaced/expelled from their villages and homes during the 1948 war in Palestine — the Nakba. While most of the refugees were displaced to the Arab states and the Palestinian territories that did not fall under Israeli control (i.e., the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), some 150,000 Palestinians remained in the areas of Palestine that became the state of Israel. This included approximately 30,000-40,000 Palestinians who were also displaced during the war. As in the case of the Palestinian refugees who were displaced/expelled beyond the borders of the new state, Israel refused to allow internally displaced Palestinians to return to their homes and villages.
Displacement did not end with the 1948 war. In the years following the establishment of Israel, internally displaced Palestinians, a small number of refugees who had returned spontaneously to their villages and Palestinians who had not been displaced during the war were expelled for security and other reasons. Israeli officials also carried out forced transfers of Palestinians from one village to another within the borders of the state in order to facilitate colonization of these areas. This included, for example, Palestinians from the villages of Iqrit, Bir’im, al-Ghabsiyya, Krad al-Baqqarah and Krad al-Ghannamah. Residents of these villages were expelled to Lebanon and Syria or transferred and resettled in nearby Palestinian villages. During the 1950s, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) forced the Bedouins of the Naqab (Negev) to abandon their traditional nomadic lifestyle; some 110,000 Bedouins were concentrated in designated zones in the north of the Naqab1 and the forced transfer of Bedouins is ongoing.2
During the 1950s, the Israeli military forces destroyed most of the depopulated Palestinian villages, except for some mosques, churches and cemeteries. According to Palestinian historian Walid al-Khalidi, out of 420 villages, only six were not destroyed3 and Jewish settlements were established on the land of these destroyed Palestinian villages. Between October 1948 and August 1949, the Israeli government built 109 settlements4 and also planted forests in order to “hide” the traces of the original Palestinian villages.
At the same time, the Israeli authorities built new housing units for some IDPs in designated so-called “shelter villages”5 in order to partially resolve the IDPs’ housing problems. However, the number of housing units constructed by the government was marginal compared to overall IDP housing needs after the war and, in order to acquire these units, IDPs were required to cede their housing and property rights in their villages of origin. In addition, most of the land for government-constructed housing was confiscated from existing Palestinian villages (i.e., the shelter villages).6
Between 1948 and 1966, internally displaced Palestinians, like other Palestinian citizens of Israel, were placed under military rule. This enabled Israel to complete the expropriation of their lands by applying the same Israeli laws used to confiscate the land of Palestinian refugees — i.e., the 1950 Absentee Property Law. In addition, the depopulated Palestinian villages were declared “closed military areas” in order to prevent the IDPs’ return.7 The practice also blocked the implementation of several Israeli High Court decisions permitting internally displaced Palestinians from the villages of Iqrit, Bir’im and al-Ghabsiyya from returning to their villages. In fact, the case of Iqrit and Bir’im became emblematic. In 1951, the Israeli Supreme Court confirmed the displaced persons’ right to return to their villages, but the government bypassed the court’s decision and the military razed the villages to the ground. In spite of the many subsequent petitions by the inhabitants of Iqrit and Bir’im to be allowed to return to their villages, to this day, the Israeli authorities have postponed the implementation of the court decision; the villages remain in rubble.
In July 2003, the Israeli Supreme Court turned down the petition. It had accepted the state’s claim that Israeli interests — based on a combination of the security situation and the Palestinian refugees’ continued demand for the right of return — did not justify their return. Thus, despite a series of promises made by previous governments — notably by David Ben-Gurion in 1948 — to the refugees that they would be allowed to return to their villages, the state won the case by raising the specter of the return of some 200,000 “present absentee” refugees and setting a precedent for cases concerning the right of return.8
The IDPs inside Israel are one of the unlucky categories of the Palestinian refugees as far as registration of status is concerned. Israel has never recognized them as a separate sector of the population nor their status as refugees or IDPs. Unlike for the majority of Palestinian refugees, who are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), there is no registration system for internally displaced Palestinians.
The number of internally displaced Palestinians in Israel today is estimated to be around 274,000 persons. This, however, does not include the Bedouins displaced after 1948 in the Naqab; the urban IDPs — e.g., from Haifa and Acre (Akka) — who were permitted to return to their cities of origin but were denied the right to repossess their homes and properties; Palestinians who were transferred after 1949 from outlying village settlements (khirba) to the village proper in the Wadi A’ra area; and the Palestinians who remained in their villages but lost their lands. If all these categories of displaced persons are included, their total number would today exceed 300,000.
Patterns of Displacement
The displacement of Palestinians during the 1948 conflict followed two main patterns. The first was characterized by direct displacement to the “permanent” places of refuge, such as the Arab countries. This type describes the movement of most of the externally displaced Palestinian refugees. The second pattern was characterized by indirect displacement from one place to another (three to four times on average),9 according to the sequence of the occupation of the Palestinian villages by the Israeli troops. This type of displacement describes the movement of all the IDPs in Israel. It was less organized and more anarchic than external displacement, but still collective, according to the family or the village.10 The latter pattern was continuous and spread out over a longer period of time than the first pattern of displacement.
Several factors explain the patterns of internal displacement inside Israel. Some IDPs found refuge in nearby villages in which they had relatives, family and friends. Nearby villages were also the most similar socially and culturally to the depopulated village. Religion also played a role in the choice of shelter villages, especially for the displaced Christian minority (some 10% of the total IDP population).11 Economic considerations also influenced the choice of shelter villages, especially in the latter part of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s after the IDPs realized that the period of displacement would not be short as they had expected and hoped.
Economic conditions in the shelter villages were generally miserable, due to restrictions on freedom of movement, the effects of the war on the Palestinian economy and the limited resources in the villages. Since the beginning of the 1950s, many IDPs have migrated from the villages to urban centers in search of better economic opportunities.12 IDPs from the depopulated village of Saffuriya, for example, migrated to Nazareth from the upper Galilee during the end of the 1950s.13 The Palestinian sociologist Majid Al-Haj noted that, during the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, approximately 35.5% of the IDPs who migrated to urban centers were pushed by economic considerations.14 For many of them, economic prosperity was seen as an alternative to their refugee status.
Israeli involvement in the IDPs’ affairs was another factor affecting the choice of a shelter village. The Israeli authorities transferred IDPs as well as local villagers from one place to another for military and security reasons. This form of internal population transfer was often carried out to facilitate the repopulation of areas targeted for Jewish settlement.15 While Israeli authorities helped IDPs to rent empty homes in shelter villages16 or, in some cases, register the property in their names, they also forced the IDPs to give up their rights in their villages of origin.17
In addition to the primary patterns of displacement, there were two rare patterns of IDP displacement that took place after 1948. Under the first, Israel permitted some IDPs to return to their villages and cities of origin. Some of the IDPs from the cities of Haifa, Acre and Jaffa, and from the villages Sha’ab and Eilut, for example, were allowed to return to their localities, but were not permitted to repossess their homes and property. They were only permitted to look for new housing in their localities of origin as mentioned above.18 Under the second rare pattern of displacement, a small number of displaced communities were able to rebuild their neighborhoods on land beside their village of origin. Part of the population that remained from the village of Ayn Hawd, located at the foot of Mt. Carmel, for example, rebuilt homes adjacent to their original village which was settled by Israeli artists.19 Further examples include al-Mansura in the Wadi A’ra area, as well as the case of displaced Bedouin communities in the north and south of Israel. Many of these villages are not recognized by the government — they are known as “unrecognized villages” — and do not receive government services.20
It is estimated that 47 out of the 69 Palestinian villages that remained after the war,21 in addition to the cities of Lydda and Jaffa and the village of Abu Ghosh, provided shelter to internally displaced Palestinians. Today, the IDPs make up the majority of the population of these cities and villages. Most, however, reside in separate neighborhoods organized around the structure of their villages of origin. These neighborhoods are often named after the villages of origin. A similar phenomenon can be found in Palestinian refugee camps throughout the region. The IDPs also reside in Palestinian cities in Israel, including Nazareth and Shafa’amr, and in cities with mixed Jewish-Arab populations, such as Haifa and Acre.
While the dependence of Palestinian locals and IDPs on the Israeli economy reduced the economic gap between them, the degree of dispossession experienced by IDPs is one of the primary reasons for their economic underdevelopment and their inferior status in the social class structure. The limited resources accessible to IDPs precluded the possibility of social and economic integration in the shelter villages.22 The end of military rule over Palestinians in 1966, and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967 opened Palestinian markets to Israeli goods. While the economic gap between IDPs and the locals in the Palestinian villages was reduced, the general economic gap between the Palestinians in general and the Jewish population remained.23 In general, the economic challenges faced by IDPs has become less distinct with time, due to the common problems faced by both sectors of the Palestinian community inside Israel (IDPs and locals), including the lack of agricultural land, dependence on the Israeli economy and the absence of an independent Palestinian economic structure.
Politically, it should be noted that during the first stage of displacement, in which internally displaced Palestinians were not yet organized, IDPs adopted a neutral stance towards local conflicts. This position led to a dynamic in which the local population offered more benefits to IDPs in order to win their support. This also gave IDPs greater status in the shelter villages. In these villages, the IDPs participated in local elections under political parties related to their villages of origin. In Yafia’ village, for example, refugees from the depopulated village of Ma’alul participated in elections under the banner of the “Ma’alul Refugees party.” These political parties often focused on issues of interest or concern to all the population and not only refugees (i.e., question of integration) as a means of attracting political support from local parties.24 At the national level, IDPs are more politically active in comparison to other sectors of Palestinian society in Israel. Some members of the Knesset are IDPs (generally as representatives of the non-Zionist political parties).
The Challenge of Return
During the first stage of displacement, it seemed that Palestinian refugees in general and IDPs in particular had disappeared behind their problem. Nonetheless, the campaign of refugees and IDPs to return to their homes of origin began with the first days of displacement. Over the last decade, this campaign has assumed new proportions.
* Nakba (1948-1967)
During the conflict and the beginning of the displacement, the main challenge faced by Palestinians was to escape from danger. Refugees and IDPs, in addition to the locals and the host societies, believed that the return of the refugees and the IDPs would be “a matter of time,” and displacement would be temporary.25 By the end of the war, many of the IDPs and some refugees from Syria and Lebanon tried to return to their villages by crossing the Armistice Line, often in the middle of the night, despite threats by the Israeli government against returnees — referred to as “infiltrators.” Israeli military forces deported or killed most of these persons.26
IDPs and all Palestinians inside Israel tried to return to their villages of origin also by sending letters to the Israeli ministries. These letters were generally written by the mukhtars and the village elders.27 They focused on the good relationship between the residents of the village of origin and their Jewish neighbors and their desire to live in peace under Israeli rule.28 The Israeli response was invariably negative. At the same time, the Israeli government announced its willingness to assist the IDPs, but only in cases of resettlement in a new shelter village.29
The shock of the 1948 war, in addition to the collapse of the national leadership, was one of the reasons surrounding the confusion over the norms for the struggle against Israeli governmental policies. The military rule (1948-1966) limited effective political participation. Out of fear, the IDPs refrained from expressing their political views publicly. The only Israeli party working to resolve the IDP and refugee problem during this period was the Israeli Communist Party (ICP),30 which led to greater support for this party among IDPs,31 especially since the ICP had been demanding that the government resolve the problems of the IDPs, including allowing them to return to their villages of origin.32 Generally speaking, the absence of a Palestinian leadership and organizations helped the Israeli government in its attempts to shift the case of the IDPs to a humanitarian rather than a political issue. The hope expressed by Palestinian refugees that the Arab states would defeat Israel and secure Palestinian return and self-determination disappeared by the end of this stage. This situation led, finally, to the Palestinian revolution by the mid-1960s and the 1970s.
* Return Becomes Secondary (1967-1993)
This stage began in the mid-1960s. The primary factor leading to a shift in focus for the campaign to return was the 1967 war, in which Israel occupied the rest of the Palestinian territories and displaced more than 350,000 Palestinians. The war also led to the collapse of Arab national unity and the failure of the Nasserite movement. Up until this time, the Palestinians had expected that the Arab states would liberate Palestine. Following the 1967 war, they began to look inwardly for a solution to their plight rather than relying on Arab states to do it for them. The mid-1960s was marked by several events, including the establishment in 1964 of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the beginning of the Palestinian revolution against Israel in 1965. Inside Israel, new political movements were established, including the nationalist Arab movement al-Ard (“the Land”) in 1964 and Rakah, the new Communist party, comprised primarily of Palestinians and IDPs. While Palestinian refugees outside adopted the principles of shahada and fida (martyrdom and self-sacrifice for liberation), the Palestinians inside Israel in general and the IDPs in particular adopted al-sumud (steadfastness) in their struggle.33
By the end of the 1960s, the intensity of the debate among IDPs and refugees over return declined because of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The IDPs focused on their relationship with the Palestinians in the occupied territories, in addition to their economic development.34
Throughout this stage, the problem of the IDPs was relegated to second place by the political demands of the Palestinian parties inside Israel that had focused since 1967 on two basic rights: a) Israeli withdrawal from the 1967 occupied territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state; and b) equality for the Palestinians inside Israel. In exile, the right of return was superseded by the Palestinian revolution, self- determination and the struggle for liberation.
* A New Process of Organization (1993-present)
The beginning of this stage coincided with the beginning of the negotiations between the Israeli government and the PLO in the early 1990s, the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the “liberated” cities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
This current stage is also characterized by the development of a mass campaign for return headed by the IDPs and the refugees themselves. They felt that the Oslo peace process had ignored their right of return. Despite differences between IDPs and refugees in the West Bank and Gaza, the response to the peace process was similar. One of the positive aspects of the Oslo peace process with regard to refugees, however, was that it engendered increased interest and awareness about the Palestinian refugees and the IDPs. As the different parties searched for solutions to the conflict, there was a need to study the main “obstacles” between the Palestinians and the Israelis, including the refugee issue.35
In April 1992, the IDPs organized the first public meeting in which they established a follow-up committee concerning the affairs of IDPs inside Israel. The committee reaffirmed that IDPs were part of the Palestinian people and voiced the protest that the negotiations with the Israeli government were ignoring their rights.36 The committee also demanded the implementation of UN resolutions pertaining to the Palestinian refugees, including General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of December 11, 1948.37 Three years later, the follow-up committee called for a meeting of IDPs in the village of I’bilin (March 11, 1995), with the participation of representatives of some 28 depopulated villages.38 The participants decided to establish a National Committee for the Defense of the Rights of Internally Displaced Palestinians inside Israel (officially registered as an association in 1998), as a response to the exclusion of IDPs and refugees from the Oslo process. The Association is comprised of representatives of the villages of origin. On March 16, 1995, the High (or Higher) Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens in Israel announced its support for IDPs, and welcomed the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced Palestinians (ADRID) as the representative forum of IDPs inside Israel.39 ADRID has called upon the government of Israel to implement UN Resolution 194 to allow the IDPs and the refugees to return to their homes; it has organized activities in the villages of origin, including marches, and has collected archival material on the villages, in addition to cooperating with the Palestinian members of Knesset.
In March 2000, the IDPs organized a second conference in Nazareth, with the participation of local committees, Palestinian political parties, and representatives of the PLO. The final statement of the conference reaffirmed the statements of the first conference in I’bilin (1995), including the reaffirmation of the right of return of IDPs and refugees.40 For its part, ADRID continues to coordinate with other refugee committees and organizations in the West Bank, based on shared principles, including UN Resolution 194. In October 2000, November 2001 and November 2002, ADRID participated in the annual coordinating meeting between Palestinian refugee committees and organizations held respectively in Cyprus, Brussels and Copenhagen.41 One of the main outcomes of these meetings was the establishment of a “Palestinian Right of Return Coalition”as an umbrella union for most of the refugee and the IDPs organizations. The IDP campaign has become one of the main centers of the Palestinian right of return, despite the particularities of their case — the IDPs are citizens of Israel and not refugees.
The struggle of the internally displaced inside Israel is not easy. In the past, IDP committees had to confront interference in their work by the PLO, which was concerned that IDP activities could damage the peace process with the Israeli government.42 The committees face other problems, including defining a policy vis-à-vis Israeli public opinion. Other questions include the position of the committees towards IDPs who received compensation from the Israeli government and the relationship of the situation of IDPs to the larger refugee issue.
The campaign of the Palestinian IDPs inside Israel has also been affected to a large extent by the process of building Palestinian civil society inside Israel. Palestinian civil society structures virtually disappeared in the aftermath of the 1948 war, the establishment of the state of Israel and the mass displacement of Palestinians. With the end of military rule inside Israel in 1966, some of these organizations reappeared, especially in the political arena and in the area of social services. During the 1990s, some 656 new Palestinian associations were registered inside Israel, including Ittijah (the Union of Palestinian NGOs inside Israel), established in 1995.
On the political level, an increasing number of Palestinian political parties have focused on the problem of the internally displaced Palestinians. During the 1996 Israeli general elections, Hadash (a joint Arab-Jewish party) and Balad raised the case of the IDPs as one of the main issues affecting the Palestinians inside Israel. Other Palestinian parties have also raised the issue of IDPs,43 in addition to some of the Zionist left forums like the Ta’ayush and Gush Shalom movements.
1. See ‘Aref Abu-Rabia’, “Bedew al-Naqab: al-nuzoh wal-tawtin al-qasri wal-mahmiat al-tabie’ia” (Bedouins in the Negev: Displacement, Forced Resettlement and Natural Zones). Nashrat al-Hijra al-Qasriyya, 5 (Oxford: November 1999), pp.31-33 [Arabic].
2. In 1957, Israel deported al-Syajj Arabs in the Negev. In the mid-1970s, Israel deported Arab al-Mafjar near the city of Hadera and, in 1981, after the 1979 signing of the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt, the Israeli government deported thousands of Bedouins from Tal al-Meleh from the Negev. In 1995, the Israeli infrastructure minister ordered the destruction of al-Hawashleh village in the Negev and Arab al-Jahalin. See Hillel Cohen, HaNochim nefcadim: haplitim hafalistinim bamdinat yisrael meaz 1948 (The Present Absentees: The Palestinian Refugees in Israel since 1948). (Jerusalem: The Institute for Israeli-Arab Studies, 2001). See also Wakim Wakim, al-Muhajarun al-lajeun fi watanihom (The Internally Displaced, Refugees in their Homeland). (Cairo: Center of Human Rights Studies, 2001) [Arabic].
3. These six villages are: Tarbicha in Acre district, Balad al-Sheikh, al-Tireh, and Ein Hawd in the Haifa district, and Ein Karem, Malha, and Deir Yassin in the Jerusalem district. See Walid Al-Khalidi, All that Remains. The Palestinian Villages Occupied by Israel in 1948. (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1987).
5. In Umm al-Fahm, Yamma and Sha’ab and Ein Rafa near Jerusalem, the Israeli government built some 20 housing units for the IDPs; in Jaljulia 10; Ramla 45; and in Nazareth more than 200. The State of Israel Archives, The Housing Ministry File 4410/61621, cited in Cohen (2001).
6. In October 1958, the Israeli government confiscated some 56 plots from Tamra village in the Galilee in order to resettle the IDPs. A few months later, the government confiscated almost 70 dunums in Judaida village and 24 dunums in al-Jish. See Cohen (2001).
7. See Charles Caiman, “Ahri ha-Ason haarivim bamdinat yisrael 1948-1950” (After the Catastrophe: the Arabs in the State of Israel 1948-1950), Mahbarut Lamhkar Vibikarit, 10 (Haifa: 1984).
8 See Nihad Boqa’i, Returning to Kafr Bir’im. (Bethlehem: Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, 2006).
9. M. Sa’eed, “Al-laje’un fi al-dakhel” (The Internal Refugees), Al-Asswar 12 (Acre: Winter 1992).
10. Majid Al-Haj, “The Arab Internal Refugees in Israel: The Emergence of a Minority within the Minority,” in Ian Lustick (ed.), Arab-Israeli Relations: A Collection of Contending Perspectives Recent Research (London: Garland Publishing, 1994).
11. Caiman (1984).
12. Cohen (2001).
13. See M. Cabaha and R. Brazilai, “Haplitim bearzam, haplitim hapnimiem bamdinat yisrael 1948-1996” (“Refugees in Their Homeland, the Internal Refugees in the State of Israel 1948-1996”), Skirot al-Ha’aravim Bayesrael No. 2 (Giv’at Haviva: Institute for Peace Studies, 1996). The migration of the IDPs from Safurriya village to Nazareth can be explained if we take into consideration the geographic proximity of Safurriya to Nazareth, and the process of the reuniting of IDPs from Safurriya in the al-Sfafri neighborhood in Nazareth.
14. Al-Haj (1994).
15. This includes, for example, the transfer of Rehania IDPs in Kfar Kana and the transfer of Tarshiha residents to Me’elia village. General proposals for the resettlement of IDPs in Majd al-Krum were discussed by the Transfer Committee headed by Joseph Weitz.
16. In 1950, the village department of the Custodian of Absentee Property announced that it was going to study the question of renting empty houses in the shelter villages to IDPs in 20 villages. Israeli Defense Army Archive, 263/66/2, cited in Cohen (2001).
17. In some cases, the Israeli authorities asked IDPs to register their secondary houses as “permanent property” in exchange for ceding their rights in the villages of origin. This includes IDPs in al-Jish, in April 1961. See, Sa’eed (1992).
18. There was a high percentage of IDPs in Nazareth: more than 4,500 IDPs inside the city and an additional 5,000 IDPs in the nearby villages. The Israeli government was afraid to allow such a large population of IDPs remain in one place. It therefore decided to allow the IDPs from Haifa, Acre and Jaffa to return to their cities of origin. A special ministerial committee recommended that IDPs from Eilut (560) and Hittin also return, but the military rejected the latter village for security reasons. The two Bedouin tribes of Krad al-Baqqara and Krad al-Ghannameh were transferred in 1956 to Sha’ab village, which was empty and had been declared a “closed military zone.” Villagers from Sha’ab who had been displaced to the nearby villages were allowed to return to the village. See Cohen (2001).
19. The Association of Forty defends the rights of the unrecognized Palestinian villages. Ein Hawd village was recognized in 1994 by the Israeli government as part of the local council of Hof Hacarmel.
20. See Cohen (2001). For more details on the unrecognized villages see http://www.assoc40.org.
21. This included Nazareth (3,000-6,000 IDPs), Acre (1,000), Majd al-Krum (850), al-Rama (550-850), Yafia’ (370-750), Abu-Snan (400), Kufr Yasif (400), Kufr Kana (270-600) and Shfara’amr (500).
22. See Majid Al-Haj, “Al-Laje’un al-Arab fi Israel: Lajeun fi Watanihom” (The Arab Refugees inside Israel: Refugees in Their Homeland]. Al-Mawakib 5, (May-June 1988).
23. Cabaha and Brazilai (1996).
25. Al-Haj (1994).
26. On 24 May 1949, for example, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) deported some 61 persons from Farridiyya village and Samiria village. The IDF also deported two families from Mi’ar village that had come from Arraba village. Yoman hamilhama shel hamimshal hazvai, IDF Archive, 850-721/72 and IDF archive, 721-842/72, cited in Cohen (2001).
27. The mukhtars and the village elders were the main mediators between the Israeli government and the Palestinians inside Israel.
28. Such letters were sent, for example, to Israeli prime minister and defense minister Ben-Gurion and to Minorities Minister Bachour Shitrit. The letters sent by IDPs from Haifa in Nazareth and Madima village (Tiberias) in Nazareth, and Suhmata in Bqe’n and the IDPs of Mi’ar in Kabul village. See State of Israel Archives, Minorities Ministry file, 44/1319, 39/308, 35/1319, 41/1319, cited in Cohen (2001).
29. Sa’eed (1997).
30. Al-Ittihad, the party newspaper, reported weekly about the problem of the IDPs. See, for example, Haifa IDPs in Nazareth in 3.1.1948., IDPs in Shfara‘am in 7.1.1949, demand to return the IDPs from al-Damoun in 31.1.1949, demand to return the IDPs from Iqrit in Rama, against the closing of the de-populated villages in 10.7.1949, the displacement of al-Ghabsiyya villagers in 5.2.1950, 26.2.1950, and displacement of the IDPs of A’ra valley in 1.10.1950, cited in Cohen (2001).
31. Sa’eed (1999).
32. The members of Knesset of the Israeli Communist Party demanded in mid-1949 that the IDPs from al-Mjedil, Eilut, Ma’alul, Birwa, Damoun, Fargha, Iqrit, etc. be allowed “to return to their villages of origin.” See Devti Hakneset, 1, 1949, 5-84, cited in Cohen (2001).
33. See Ingrid Jaradat, The Public Campaign for the Defense of the Palestinian Refugee Rights in Historic Palestine (Bethlehem: Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, 2000).
34. Cohen (2001).
35. Rosemary Sayegh (1998). “Dis/Solving the Refugee Problem” Middle East Report (Summer 1998).
36. Sa’eed (1999).
37. See Wakim Wakim, “Al-muhajrun fi watanihom wal-mahatat al-re’isia” (Internally Displaced in their Homeland and the Main Stations), Al-Ittihad newspaper, special supplement on Land Day (March 2001 b).
38. The representatives of the depopulated villages are from eight villages of more than 500 inhabitants, in addition to some 22 smaller villagers. See Cohen 2001.
39. Wakim (2001 b).
40. Wakim (2001 b).
41. Badil (2002).
42. Cohen (2002).
43. Sa’eed (1999).