From 1948 to 1967

Page last updated 29 Oct 2015


In 1948 after seven decades of land purchase and settlement, Jewish land agencies and individuals had purchased just about 6 percent of the land of mandate Palestine. By 1966 the Israeli state claimed title not only to all the land that had been confiscated from refugees living outside Israel, but to 65 percent of all the land holdings owned by Arab citizens who had remained inside the state. This occured under a regime of military rule from 1948 to 1966. Why that regime ended in 1966 is disputed – Shira Robinson and Arnon Degani provide somewhat conflicting interpretations – but it is clear that it was during this period that the dispossession of the Palestinians from their lands was substantially consolidated.

And 1967 was to change a lot more…

1. Palestinian Internally Displaced Persons inside Israel: Challenging the Solid Structures
Nihad Boqa’i, Palestine-Israel Journal, 2009

This article, as part of a special issue of the PIJ focusing on the refugee question, looks at the displacement and dispossession of those Palestinians who remained in Israel after 1948 and their continuing struggles to be allowed to return to their villages.


2. Shira Robinson on ‘Citizen strangers’
Bill Simonds, Mondoweiss, 28 Mar

A report on the work of Shira Robinson who argues that the period in Israel between 1948 and 1966, during which time more than 90 percent of the Palestinian Arab minority within Israel lived under draconian military rule, firmly links this history to the wider trends of imperial history, such as in colonial Algeria, South Africa and North America. “It bears repeating that the state acquired exponentially more Arab land for exclusive use by Jews during the first two decades of statehood alone, than the Zionist movement acquired through purchase in the previous seven decades.”


3. The decline and fall of the Israeli Military Government, 1948–1966: a case of settler-colonial consolidation?
Arnon Yehuda Degani, Settler Colonial Studies, 2014

“My claim is that when Israel, during its first two decades, slowly dismantled the Military Government, it effectively abandoned a colonial form of interaction with the Palestinian-Arabs and thereby inched toward consolidating the Zionist settler-colonial project.” And Degani’s conclusion is that “the story of the dismantling of the Military Government proves that at one time, Zionists understood that in order to safeguard their privileges they must make sincere steps to cover them up with a more liberal and more democratic regime.”


4. Nur Masalha’s The Palestine Nakba
Bernard Regan, review in Red Pepper, Jun 2012

A strong recommendation to read Nur Masalha’s book on the significance of the nakba to the Palestinians, revealing its multi-layered character and the way in which the Israeli state, its army and agencies like the Jewish National Fund worked and are continuing to work assiduously to erase any record of the Palestinians from their homeland.


5. 1967
By Gadi Algazi (Trans by Daphna Levit), Occupation Magazine, originally published in MiTzad Sheni, Jun 2007.

“In hindsight, it is easy to recognize that the Israeli occupation is essentially a colonial project enacted under the auspices of a military occupation… The settlements are no added bonus to the occupation, no accident that occurred under pressure from the Messianic and nationalistic right; they are its heart and soul and its raison d’être.”


6. Every day is Land Day, on both sides of the Green Line
Edo Conrad, +972, 30 Mar 2015

Though focusing on the much wider issue of land appropriation up to the present, this article finds the foundation of judaisation of the land in the period from 1948 to 1966 when “Israel’s secular regime expropriated the land of Palestinians refugees who had fled the country as well as much of the land belonging to those who remained…”


7. Israel’s pyrrhic victory of 1967
Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom, JfJfP 15 Jun 2013

An MK in 1967, Avnery looks back at the reasons for Israel’s preemptive strike against (a blustering and unprepared) Egypt, the hysterical triumphalism at the ease of his country’s victory – and the terrible curse that has handed down to both Palestinians and the younger Israelis who can’t imagine an Israel without its colony of defeated Palestinians.


Contents of this section


a) General introduction
b) Timelines and maps
c) From earliest times to the present – introductions and overviews
d) The Palestinian refugees
e) From 1948 to 1967
f) Oslo and after
g) Gaza’s special history

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