Palestinian refugees are the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, the majority of whom were dispossessed, were forced to run away or were expelled when the state of Israel was created in 1948. This dispossession and expulsion has continued since with the second largest such event in Palestine taking place during the 1967 war, which Israel launched on its Arab neighbors and which resulted in the occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Zionist policy sought to create an exclusive homeland for Jews in Palestine, a region that already had an indigenous population with a history stretching back thousands of years. The characterization of Palestine as "a land without a people for a people without a land" was a myth created to suggest that Palestine was waiting to be populated. Nothing was further from the truth and this has been evidenced by the atrocities of 1948 and since.
Adapted from The Palestinian Dispossession - Frequently Asked Questions
May 15, 2003 By MIFTAH
Badil Resource Center for Refugee Rights
Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding
Shaml - Palestinian Diaspora and Refugee Center
United Nations Relief and Works Agency
U.S. Committee for Refugees