Palestinian Citizens of Israel | Just Vision Skip to main content

The glossary is comprised of nearly 250 terms related to the Israeli-Palestinian context. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, these terms cannot capture the full range of nuances, narratives and historical events. This tool is meant as a starting point and we encourage you to continue your exploration of this topic through further research. Last update and review: September 2015.

Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Also known as Palestinian-Israelis, 1948 Palestinians, or Arab-Israelis. Refers to those Palestinians and their descendants who remained in the area that became the State of Israel in 1948. This includes most of the Bedouin within Israel and some Druze, though not all Druze identify as Palestinian. In 2009, Palestinian citizens of Israel numbered 1.52 million, approximately 18-19% of the Israeli population. They participate in government and hold Israeli citizenship, but most do not serve in the military. (Druze men and some Bedouin do typically serve.) Palestinian citizens of Israel were subjected to military rule until 1966, which restricted their movement and other civil rights. There have been three notorious incidents in which groups of unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces; the first was in 1956 in Kafr Kassem, the second was in demonstrations in 1976 in the Galilee known as Land Day, and most recently the October 2000 events at the beginning of the Second Intifada. Palestinian citizens of Israel continue to experience discrimination, racism and inequality in multiple aspects of life, including civil rights, income/poverty, employment, land access, social services, education and health care. Discrimination against the Arab sector was first officially acknowledged by the Israeli government in the 2002 Or Commission Report, investigating the October 2000 Events. According to Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, there are more than 50 Israeli laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel. See "The Inequality Report: The Palestinian Arab Minority in Israel," Adalah, March 2011, and " Adalah. See also "Arab Minority Rights," Discriminatory Laws in Israel," The Association for Civil Rights in Israel.