Estimates of the Palestinian Refugee flight of 1948
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This article lists the various interim and final United Nations estimates for the number of Palestinian people who fled or were expelled from the area that became part of Israel after the 1948 Palestine war. It also provides other interim and final estimates for the number of Palestinian refugees for that period.
- 1 UN estimates
- 2 Other estimates of flight or refugees
- 3 See also
- 4 References
Estimate of number of people who left or fled the area captured by Israel
- 726,000 according to the Final Report of the United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East published by the United Nations Conciliation Commission, December 28, 1949.[note 1]
- 711,000 according to the General Progress Report and Supplementary Report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, Covering the Period from 11 December 1949 to 23 October 1950, published by the United Nations Conciliation Commission, October 23, 1950.[note 2]
- Sir Raphael Cilento, director of the UN Disaster Relief Project (DRP): 300,000 − 350,000 in August
- 360,000 in September, 1948, according to the Progress Report of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine published by UN Mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, September 16, 1948.[note 3]
- 472,000 in October, 1948, according to the Progress Report of the Acting United Nations Mediator on Palestine published by Acting UN Mediator Ralph Bunche, October 18, 1948.[note 4]
Estimates of total number of people who registered as refugees
- 800,000 – 900,000 according to the Historical Survey of Efforts of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine to Secure the Implementation of Paragraph 11 of General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) published by the United Nations Conciliation Commission, October 2, 1961.
- 875,998 refugees in June 1951, according to the Report of the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East published by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, September 28, 1951.[note 5]
- 914,000 refugees in 1950, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency website.[note 6]
- 957,000 refugees in 1950 according to the Report of the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East published by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, September 28, 1951.[note 7]
Other estimates of flight or refugees
- 550,000 − 600,000 "Israeli government estimate" according to Efraim Karsh
- 539,000 According to Walter Pinner 
- 583,121 – 609,071 According to Efraim Karsh
- 600,000 According to Joseph B. Schechtman
- 630,000 According to Yoram Ettinger
- 700,000± According to Benny Morris in his book "The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited"
- 720,000 According to Irving Howe and Carl Gershman[better source needed]
- 800,000 According to Elia Zureik (750,000 – 800,000 "Private Palestinian sources", 800,000 – 900,000 "Palestinian figures" , 850,000 "United Nations estimate")
- 800,000± According to Baha Abushaqra
- 800,000 – Walter Eytan, in a private letter of 1950 referred to the UNRWA registration in 1949 as "meticulous", but thought that "the real number was close to 800,000".
- 804,767 According to Salman Abu-Sitta[note 8]
- 900,000 According to Abdel-Azim Hammad
- 935,000 According to Salman Abu-Sitta
- 200,000+ by May, 1948 according to Samuel Katz (in 1973)
- 300,000± by May, 1948 according to Noam Chomsky (in 2002)
- 380,000± by 15 May 1948 according to Ilan Pappe (in 1994)
- 335,000 by 5 June 1948 according to Yossef Weitz of the Jewish National Fund.
- 391,000 by 1 June 1948 according to a report by the Haganah's intelligence service (239,000 from the UN-ascribed Jewish state.)
- 200,000 by the mid-June 1948 according to Emil Ghoury.
- 300,000± by late July according to W. De St. Aubin, delegate of the League of Red Cross Societies to the Middle East.
- 631,967 by October "the Arab League estimate" according to Efraim Karsh.
- 460,000 by late October, according to an Israeli study led by Y. Weitz and E. Danin & Z. Lifshitz.
- This estimate by the UN Conciliation Commission has been repeated in a number of other UN documents. The number was calculated by estimating the number of non-Jews living within the borders of Israel at the end of 1947 and subtracting the number of remaining non-Jews living within the borders of Israel after the war. It does not include an estimated 25,000 border-line refugees – refugees who lost their livelihood because their village land was located in Israeli-occupied territory, while the village house remained in Arab territory. The figure was later revised down by the UN Concilation Commission to 711,000.
- The Committee believed the estimate to be "as accurate as circumstances permit", and attributed the higher number on relief to, among other things, "duplication of ration cards, addition of persons who have been displaced from area other than Israel-held areas and of persons who, although not displaced, are destitute."
- Figure refers only to people registered as refugees.
- Figure refers only to people registered as refugees.
- Figure inflated because "all births are eagerly announced, the deaths wherever possible are passed over in silence, and as the birthrate is high in any case, a net addition of 30,000 names a year". The figure includes descendants of the Palestinian refugees born after the Palestinian exodus up to June 1951.
- Figure does not match official UNRWA estimates submitted to the UN.
- Figure later revised down to 876,000 by UNRWA after "many false and duplicate registrations weeded out."
- Figure calculated by using the official village statistics of 1944/1945 and upgraded to 1948/1949 by taking a net natural increase of 3.8% for four years. The number of non-Jews remaining in Israel was then deducted from the total count.
- "A/AC.25/6/Part.1". United Nations. 28 December 1949. p. 21. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "Right of return of the Palestinian People – CEIRPP, SUPR study". United Nations. United Nations. 1 November 1978. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "Anniversaries of significant events in the history of the Palestinian people – Information note". United Nations. 31 December 1987. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "A/1367/Rev.1". United Nations. 23 October 1950. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "U.N. General Assembly Official Records, 5th Session, Supplement No. 18, Document A/1367/Rev. 1". United Nations. 23 October 1950. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Karsh, Efraim (2011). "How Many Palestinian Arab Refugees Were There?".
- U.N. General Assembly Official Records, 3rd Session, Supplement No. 11, Document A/648
- UN General Assembly Official Records, 3rd Session Supplement No. 11A, Document A/689
- "A/AC.25/W/81/Rev.2". United Nations. 2 October 1961. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "U.N. General Assembly Official Records, 6th Session, Supplement No. 16, Document A/1905". United Nations. United Nations. 28 September 1951. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "A/1905". United Nations. 28 September 1951. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "Who is a Palestine refugee?". UNRWA. Archived from the original on 16 July 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Pinner, Walter (1959). How Many Arab Refugees: A Critical Study of UNRWA's Statistics and Reports. University of Michigan: Macgibbon & Kee. p. 61.
- Schechtman, Joseph B. (1952). The Arab Refugee Problem. University of Michigan: Philosophical Library.
- Ettinger, Yoram (12 February 2001). "The 1948 Palestinian Refugees – Whose Responsibility?". Jerusalem Cloakroom. Ariel Center for Policy Research. Archived from the original on 20 April 2001. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge Middle East Studies 18. Cambridge University Press. pp. 602–604.
- Howe, Irving; Gershman, Carl (1972). Israel, the Arabs and the Middle East. New York: Bantam. p. 168.
- Abushaqra, Baha (24 October 2002). "The Palestinian Refugee Problem & the Right of Return". Middle East Journal. Archived from the original on 14 June 2006. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Morris Birth Revisted, p602: "The director general of the Israel Foreign Ministry, Walter Eytan, in a private letter in late 1950 referred to the UNRWA registration in 1949 of 726,000 as ‘meticulous’ but thought that ‘the real number was close to 800,000’."
- Abu-Sitta, Salman (7 August 2001). "The Unfolding of the Holocaust". Palestine Remembered. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Hammad, Abdel-Azim (15 July 1999). "Murder, expulsion – and silence". Al-Ahram Weekly. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "Books: 'From Refugees To Citizens At Home: Al Nakba Anatomy'". Palestine Land Society. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Katz, Samuel (January 1, 1973). battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine.
- Katz, Joseph E. (1973). "Arab Refugees and the Right of Return". Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- Chomsky, Noam. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky. New Press. pp. 131–132. ISBN 9781565847033.
- Pappe, Ilan. The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947–51. London: I. B. Taurus. pp. 85, 96.
- David Ben-Gurion, Yoman Hamilhama Tashah-Tashat 2. Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense Publishing House, 1983. p. 487.