Jewish terrorist groups such as Haganah, Irgun and Stern terrorized the Palestinian street, destroyed villages and slaughtered entire Palestinian families. Thirty four massacres were documented by Zionist historian Benny Morris to have occured within a few months: Al-Abbasiyya, Beit Daras, Bir Al-Saba', Al-Kabri, Haifa, Qisarya. These attacks were part of Plan Dalet and aimed to annihilate the Palestinian population. Approxiamtely 50% of all Palestinian villages were destroyed in 1948 and many cities were cleared from their Palestinian population including Akka, Bir Al-Saba', Bisan, Lod, Al-Majdal, Nazareth, Haifa, Tabaria, Yaffa, and West-Jerusalem among others.
Israeli forces killed an estimated 13,000 Palestinians and forcibly evicted 737,166 Palestinians from their homes and land. Five hundred and thirty one Palestinian villages were entirely depopulated and destroyed.
The tragedy of the refugees continued in 1967. That year, Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and many Palestinians were uprooted for the second time: 15,000 fled from the West Bank, 38,000 fled from the Gaza Strip and 16,000 fled from the Syrian Golan Heights. The refugees found shelter in surrounding countries including Jordan, Syria and Egypt.
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