The 1967 Palestinian exodus refers to the flight of around 280,000 to 325,000 Palestinians[1] out of the territories occupied by Israel during and in the aftermath of the Six-Day War including the demolition of the Palestinian villages of Imwas, Yalo, and Bayt Nuba, Surit, Beit Awwa, Beit Mirsem, Shuyukh, Jiftlik, Agarith and Huseirat and the "emptying" of the refugee camps of ʿAqabat Jabr and ʿEin Sulṭān.[2] The Special Committee heard allegations of the destruction of over 400 Arab villages, but no evidence in corroboration was furnished to the Special Committee to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the population of the occupied territories.[3]

Approximately 145,000 of the 1967 Palestinian refugees were refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[4] By December 1967, 245,000 had fled from the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Jordan, 11,000 had fled from Gaza to Egypt and 116,000 Palestinians and Syrians had fled from the Golan Heights further into Syria.[4]

Before the Six-Day War, roughly half of all Palestinians still lived within the boundaries of former British Mandate of Palestine, but after the war the majority lived outside the territory.[4]

A 1971 United Nations report claimed that:

The continual pressure applied by Israeli authorities on the Palestinian population created a climate of fear within the civil population leading to a cycle of resistance and Israeli reprisals.[5] The Israeli Government carried out a policy of the destruction of Palestinian society by harassment (parts of the rural population were transferred from their homes) and arbitrary deportation of leaders and intellectuals from among the inhabitants of the occupied territories (judges, barristers, advocates, doctors, teachers, religious leaders).[6]

After the psychological warfare unit made a visit to Qalqilya and many of the residents had fled, the UN representative Nils-Göran Gussing noted that 850 of the town's 2,000 houses were demolished.[7]

The exodus is commemorated annually on Naksa Day.

See also


  1. Bowker, 2003, p. 81.
  2. Gerson, 1978, p. 162.
  3. UN Doc A/8389 of 5 October 1971. Para 57. appearing in the Sunday Times (London) on 11 October 1970, where reference is made not only to the villages of Jalou, Beit Nuba, and Imwas, also referred to by the Special Committee in its first report, but in addition to villages like Surit, Beit Awwa, Beit Mirsem and El-Shuyoukh in the Hebron area and Jiflik, Agarith and Huseirat, in the Jordan Valley. The Special Committee has ascertained that all these villages have been completely destroyed Para 58. the village of Nebi Samwil was in fact destroyed by Israeli armed forces on March 22, 1971.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 McDowall, 1989, p. 84.
  5. UN Doc A/8389 of 5 October 1971. On the basis of the testimony placed before it or obtained by it in the course of its investigations, the Special Committee had been led to conclude that the Government of Israel is deliberately carrying out policies aimed at preventing the population of the occupied territories from returning to their homes and forcing those who are in their homes in the occupied territories to leave, either by direct means such as deportation or indirectly by attempts at undermining their morale or through the offer of special inducements, all with the ultimate object of annexing and settling the occupied territories. The Special Committee considers the acts of the Government of Israel in furtherance of these policies to be the most serious violation of human rights that has come to its attention. The evidence shows that this situation has deteriorated since the last mission of the Special Committee in 1970.
  6. UN DocA/8089 of 5 October 1970
  7. Tom Segev (2007) 1967 Israel, The War and the Year that Transformed the Middle East Little Brown ISBN 978-0-316-72478-4 p 405


  • Bowker, Robert P. G. (2003). Palestinian Refugees: Mythology, Identity, and the Search for Peace. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 1588262022
  • Gerson, Allan (1978). Israel, the West Bank and International Law. Routledge. ISBN 0714630918
  • McDowall, David (1989). Palestine and Israel: The Uprising and Beyond. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1850432899.
  • Segev, Tom (2007) 1967 Israel, The War and the Year that Transformed the Middle East Little Brown ISBN 978-0-316-72478-4

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