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Palestinian migration

Continuous #conflict has affected the migration of the Palestinians. The Israeli-Arab wars in 1948-49 and 1967 caused the Palestinian exodus which saw respectively about 725,000 and 250,000 Palestinians fleeing their homes and lands seeking refuge from the Israel army, mainly in neighboring countries (Kossaifi, 1989). The precarious living conditions of displaced people as well as some other events (including the expulsion of #Palestine Liberation Organization – PLO from Jordan in 1970, the Israel invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the first Gulf war in 1990-1991 together with the recent expulsion of Palestinians from Iraq in 2006) caused additional waves of Palestinian refugees around the world, and sometimes saw these refugees return home. There are sizable numbers of refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria Iraq, Egypt and outside the Middle East.

In the case of the Palestinians, three kinds of mobility can be distinguished: (1) labour migration in the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, (2) asylum seekers looking for safety in a third country, which took place between the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the War of the Camps (1985–87), and (3) illegal “refugee-migrants” to Europe seeking both asylum and a better economic situation, which began in the early 1990s. During the period 1990-1994 many Palestinians returned home following the Oslo agreements. In recent years, migration has continued as a consequence of the second Intifada in 2000 and the associated worsening socio-economic conditions. Among other problems there is the rise of the unemployment especially for the most educated individuals, the political impasse in peace negotiations and the shrinking chances of the establishment of an independent #Palestinian state: all these have triggered intense outward emigration flows from the oPt.

It is important to stress that the political evolution of Palestine has not yet resulted in the creation of a full Palestinian state. The transformation of the homeland has only been partial, and its impact on the diaspora has similarly only been partial.

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