The U.N. defines that any Arab who had lived for TWO YEARS in Western Palestine before 1948 "He and his descendants could claim the right of return". Today 3-5 million Arabs, without proof or document are claiming to be descendants of these original refugees and are claiming to be "Palestinians" with the "right of return" to Western Palestine [Israel].
For politically motivated reasons, from
1920-1948, the British government deliberately tried to create an artificial
Arab majority in Western Palestine by severely restricting Jewish immigration
and actively encouraging illegal Arab immigration.
The number of Arab settlers is based on statistics collected on the Allenby bridge and other connection points between Israel and Jordan. I don't know yet whether it also includes the border between Gaza and Egypt.
The statistics are based on the number of Arabs day workers entering, but not leaving Israel, published by the Israel Central Bureau for statistics during the Netanyahu administration and subsequently denied as "recording errors" by the Barak administration.
The original report claimed upwards of 400,000 KNOWN illegal immigrants in Israel since the start of Olso, obstensively pushing the West Bank population from 1 million to 1.5 million Arabs.
The Barak Administration disregarded this figure and reported a revised figure of approximately 170,000 allowing for their "estimated number of recording errors at border control".
Israel CONTINUES to have a policy of essentially allowing unhindered immigration to the Palestinian Autonomy across the Jordanian, and Egyptian borders.
The Palestinian Authority several times has tried to claim control of border control, resulting in some conflict at the Allenby and Adam bridges. Israel during the Barak administration tried to appease the PA by allowing liberal policies towards would-be-immigrants, threatening deportation only if they appeared outside Palestinian Autonomy regions. It is unclear that Sharon administration's policy is any different.
In addition, numerous reports have been occurring in the press of substantial illegal (unreported) immigration. This appears from time to time where job-seeking "infiltrators" are stumbled on by the police or border patrol. They come from as far away as Iraq, Syria, Kuwait and India.
The number of settlements can be seen by doing a comparison of maps in 1967 and today.
We must be aware of the implications of massive illegal Arab immigration into the West Bank and Gaza There have been twenty at least new Arab settlements since 1998.
As Winston Churchill said in 1939, "So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift up the Jewish population." [Martin Gilbert, Churchill, vol. 5, p. 1072. ]
Various military and political circles talk about the "retaking of Area As" to achieve Israeli security, but the population movement is one thing that can't be "undone" or "retaken".
Deputy Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra claims there are 57,000 Jordanians illegally in Israel, mostly in Galilee villages, and warns they could become a security risk. But a Labor Ministry expert counters that number is "totally illogical."
Ezra, who asked for reports from border control stations on the numbers of Jordanians who entered the country and then when they left, calculated a difference of 57,000 between the number entries and exits over the last three years.
"They enter with tourist visas for three months, or for shorter periods. A few seek family reunification, some marry Israelis and many disappear in the country," said Ezra, a former senior officer in the Shin Bet.
"They come to work like any foreign worker," he noted, adding that as opposed to foreign workers from China or Romania, they can become a security risk, like the Jordanian who, a few months ago, was involved in the terror attack on the Number 51 bus in Tel Aviv. Now the Public Security Ministry is looking into ways to bring down the number of illegal Jordanians here, he said.
But Benny Fefferman [disagreed]...
Speaking at a seminar yesterday on the subject of foreign workers here, he said the ministry estimates there are altogether some 100,000 workers without legitimate visas in the country. The Central Bureau of Statistics estimated the number of foreign workers without visas in 1999 at 90,000. Fefferman said that the phenomenon of vastly disparate numbers between entries and exits to the country is "well-known" and mostly a result of poor record-keeping at the borders.
...He said that only a few years ago ... the assumption in Israel was
that there were as many as 400,000 illegal foreign workers here...
Israel has allowed 114,000 refugees to
return to the territories for humanitarian reasons over the years, according
to the Foreign Ministry's legal adviser, Alan Baker. Some 70,000 refugees
have been allowed to return to Israel proper, most of them in the framework
of family reunions after 1948.
Since the start of the 1950s, Israel had rejected the refugee clause in Resolution 194, but under the Oslo accords it agreed that refugees should constitute one of the issues to be negotiated in final status talks. Palestinians could view this as an achievement: for them, the very fact that the refugees were recognized as a problem about whose resolution Israel must negotiate constituted a toehold in a door which had previously been locked.
The Palestinians have seen, and continue to see, that Israel has grown soft and retreated from once intractable positions: Israelis negotiate with the PLO, assent to the establishment of a Palestinian state and partition areas in Jerusalem. Why, then, the Palestinians reason, shouldn't Israel become pliant and compromising about refugees?
This assumption is strengthened by the fact that the first cracks in Israel's position on refugees have already appeared. The Beilin-Abu Mazen document (which the Palestinian politician consistently denounces, for reasons that are not hard to deduce) holds that most refugees will be settled in the Palestinian state, apart from a small number which will return to Israel in accord with humanitarian criteria. A proposal akin to this formulation has apparently resurfaced in U.S. President Bill Clinton's current plan - according to the outgoing president's proposal, only a small number of refugees will be entitled to return to the State of Israel.
An official policy of "family reunification" was carried out after Israel's founding, and up to the end of the 1960s this policy permitted the return of 40,000 persons. How many more families can be "reunited" after 50 years? When one takes into account the clan network structure of Palestinian society, the potential apparently is unlimited.
How many more are to return under this
reunification formula, or some other framework? In 1949, David Ben-Gurion
agreed to accept 100,000 refugees. The proposal was rejected and removed
from the national agenda; yet recently it has been mentioned anew. In actual
fact, since 1967, Israel has "absorbed" close to this number. According
to data compiled by Professor Arnon Sofer, about 50,000 Palestinians returned
illegally to Galilee and Triangle areas and mixed in with local population
groups there. Another 20,000 Palestinians, he says, settled in Jerusalem
(not counting those who came under the reunification policy), and about
1,000 Palestinian women married Israeli Bedouin men. Israel doesn't enforce
immigration laws (and other laws) in Arab communities.
Over 40,000 Palestinians have entered the Palestinian Authority from a variety of Arab countries without the agreement of the Israeli government, Israel Radio reports.
Many of these obtained temporary permission to stay, but have been remained in the PA indefinitely.
At a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Security, Prime Minister Barak said Israel would agree to the continued residence of 5,000 of those Palestinians, the report says.
Barak also said Israel was to release three
administrative detainees in a gesture to the PA for cooperation on security
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