Palestinians of 1948
“Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel,” “Arab citizens of Israel” and the
“Palestinian community in Israel.” Although not all Israeli citizens of Arab origin identify as Palestinian, the Arab community in Israel, including leading civil society organizations and political parties, increasingly use this terminology.
The use of these terms both reflects the community’s self-identification as part of the Palestinian people, and citizens of Israel. The Israeli government refers to this community as, “Arab Israelis” or “Israeli Arabs,” “Arab sector,” “non Jewish” or “minorities” (despite the absence of such a legally-protected status), or as non-Jews.
While identified as part of a wider Arab world, the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel represent a national (Palestinian), ethnic / racial (Arab), linguistic (Arabic) and religious (Muslim, Christian and Druze) minority in Israel. Moreover, the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel are members of the Palestinian peoples who were dispersed in 1948, with the establishment of the State of Israel they became citizens of the state. As such, they share deep familial, national, religious, social and cultural ties with Palestinians in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and beyond.
The Palestinians of 1948, about 20% of the Israeli population and 10% of the Palestinian people. While community members preserve their Arabic language and identity, they are also fluent in Hebrew.