|In recent years, known Palestinian leaders, writers and refugees themselves are speaking out and candidly blaming the Arab leadership for the creation of the refugee problem. According to these Palestinian accounts the massive departure of Arabs from Israel was willful, the result of orders by the Arab leadership. This contradicts the Palestinian charge that the hundreds of thousands of Arabs who ran in 1948 were expelled by Israel.
In this interview, an elderly Arab resident of a refugee camp, recounts the reason his family left Israel during the war and became refugees:
Another aspect of Arab refugee history is that the PA intentionally restricts the rights of refugee camp residents, both political and humanitarian rights, in order to prevent their natural absorption into society.
"This picture was taken a week before we left Ein-Kerem [near Jerusalem] in June 1948, in front of our house. The radio stations of the Arab regimes kept repeating to us: "Get away from the battle lines. It's a matter of ten days or two weeks at the most, and we'll bring you back to Ein-Kerem." And we said to ourselves, "That's a very long time. What is this? Two weeks? That's a lot!" That's what we thought [then]. And now 50 years have gone by." [PA TV (Fatah), July 7, 2009]
The following are more examples clarifying this important period of history: