Reasons Behind the Migration of Arabs
Palestinian Arab refugees

One Israeli officer in Shai (the precursor to the Shin Bet security service) discusses in June 1948 why the newly created State of Israel was emptied of so many Arabs. The document was translated to English by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research and shared by Haaretz. His research concluded the following:

“In reviewing the factors that affected migration, we list the factors that had a definitive effect on population migration. Other factors, localized and smaller scale, are listed in the special reviews of migration movement in each district. The factors, in order of importance, are:

  1. Direct Jewish hostile actions against Arab communities.
  2. Impact of our hostile actions against communities neighboring where migrants lived (here –
    particularly – the fall of large neighboring communities).
  3. Actions taken by the Dissidents [Irgun, Lehi].
  4. Orders and directives issued by Arab institutions and gangs.
  5. Jewish Whispering operations [psychological warfare] intended to drive Arabs to flee.
  6. Evacuation ultimatums.
  7. Fear of Jewish retaliation upon a major Arab attack on Jews.
  8. The appearance of gangs and foreign fighters near the village.
  9. Fear of an Arab invasion and its consequences (mostly near the borders).
  10. Arab villages isolated within purely Jewish areas.

Various local factors and general fear of what was to come”


Title: Israeli officer report, 1948: “The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine”

Date of publication: June 1948

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