Organized Forced Migration, Past and Present: Gaza, Israel-Palestine and Beyond

Fiona B. Adamson, SOAS, University of London & Kelly M. Greenhill, Tufts University and MIT


Almost two million people have been forcibly displaced, and more than 30,000 reportedly killed, in Gaza since October 7, 2023.[1] The Gaza Strip itself is the product of earlier waves of organized forced displacement, and the ongoing war has featured multiple proposals by Israeli ministers and other prominent actors for the mass transfer of Gazans out of the territory.[2] Proposals for mass population transfers are nothing new to the broader region, which has long been shaped by state-led forms of demographic engineering. This history, including the vigorous debates and conflicting interpretations of forced displacement around Israeli state formation and the Palestinian Nakba or ‘catastrophe,’ offers a valuable and instructive lens through which to view current developments.

In this essay, we reflect on how the simultaneously paradigmatic and exceptional case of Israel-Palestine relates to broader patterns of population transfers, exchanges, expulsions, repatriations and exodus in the region and beyond – phenomena that we collectively refer to as organized forced migration. Our reflections are based on an ongoing dataset-building research project, which examines organized forced migration as a geopolitical tool used by state elites and other actors for purposes such as empire-building, colonization, nation-state building, foreign-policy bargaining, war-making, and even contemporary regimes of “migration management.”[3] Excavating the phenomenon’s legacies and practices, and integrating the Israel-Palestine case into regional and global histories of organized forced migration opens up space for broader discussions on Israel-Palestine – both past and present – and can shed light on significant dynamics and processes that have shaped, and continue to shape, the regional (and global) order.

What is Organized Forced Migration?

Organized forced migration can be distinguished from other types of migration as it is deliberately orchestrated by state and other actors.[4] In our research, we identify five types of organized forced migration. Transfers (or resettlements) are state-driven movements of groups of people from one state or region to another (often geographically-distant) region or state, most frequently based on identity markers, such as race, ethnicity or religion, but sometimes on identity-blind economic factors. Exchanges are state-driven cross-border movements of two populations in opposite directions at about the same time. Repatriations are state-driven cross-border movements of people designed to return them to their country of origin or citizenship. Expulsions are involuntary state-driven cross-border movements of people with little regard to where the people end up. Exoduses are state-driven flights of populations achieved through indirect means.

The boundaries between these categories are fluid and, in many cases, overlap. For example, expulsions and exoduses are often quite difficult to distinguish: in some cases, there is clear historical documentation of a government order for mass deportations and expulsion, and identifiable actions, such as direct physical removal, the confiscation of property, or denaturalization/the removal of citizenship. In other cases, policies are implemented using indirect means, such as the use of intimidation and violence by third parties or special units, extreme policies of forced assimilation, or ongoing state-sponsored harassment and intimidation. The term repatriation (or return) is frequently used in cases of ethnic transfers in which populations are transferred back to a “home” that they have never lived in or perhaps even visited. This applies to many historical cases of transfers based on ethnic or religious criteria, but such misnomers are still used today. Notably, these terms are all employed to describe politically contentious events and dynamics in the Israel-Palestine context, but also have a longer history and broader applicability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond.[5]

Interconnected Histories of Organized Forced Migration

Organized forced migration as a tool of state-building and statecraft in the MENA region pre-dates European colonization: population transfer and resettlement (sürgün) was used by the Ottoman Empire as a means of empire-building from its earliest days for a range of economic and strategic reasons.[6] In the nineteenth century, imperial rivalries led to transfers of populations back and forth across the borders of the Russian, Ottoman and Persian empires.[7]Large-scale expulsions of Tatar and Circassian populations from the Russian Empire were strategically dispersed and settled by the Ottomans, as were Muslim expellees from the Balkans.[8] Simultaneously, European empires also used organized forced migration during this period: expulsions and transfers to and from Algeria were used by France as a means of colonizing, redistributing populations and managing political dissent.[9] Italy similarly used forced transfer in Libya in the early 20th century.[10]

Organized forced migrations were also common in the 1912-13 Balkan Wars and World War I (WWI).[11]  In Anatolia, for instance, hundreds of thousands of Armenians, Assyrians and other Christian minorities were killed or forced out of Anatolia in highly organized massacres and expulsions.[12] Population transfers and exchanges formed a key part of the post-WWI settlement. The Lausanne Convention of 1923, which marked the end of the Ottoman Empire, included a population exchange between Greece and Turkey and resulted in the forcible relocation of approximately 1.5 million people.[13] Overseen by the newly-formed League of Nations, Lausanne was widely viewed as the first compulsory exchange of populations authorized by international law – although it was certainly not the first diplomatically-agreed exchange in the region.[14]

Nevertheless, Lausanne set a precedent. In the following decades, proposed and actual transfers proliferated and were used by European powers, the League of Nations, and post-Ottoman states, among others. In the newly-formed Republic of Turkey, expulsions of minorities, including Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Kurds and other related groups from Eastern Turkey and the border regions of Syria and Iraq — which were now under British and French mandates — continued throughout the 1920s and 1930s.[15] The same period saw a variety of realized and unrealized population transfer proposals, such as relocating Armenian refugees to Soviet Armenia and Assyrian refugees to far-flung locations such as Brazil.[16] The 1930s and 1940s featured widespread organized forced migration across Europe, instigated by fascist, communist and liberal actors alike. Bilateral transfer treaties within Europe and the former Ottoman space were concluded throughout the 1930s, forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands.[17] The Nazi Heim ins Reich transfers; Stalinist mass transfers in the Soviet Union; and US and UK-led post-WWII Potsdam Treaty transfers of Germans and Poles created mass displacements that collectively uprooted tens of millions of people across Eurasia.[18]

Organized Forced Migration and Israel-Palestine

Population transfers and exchanges were also historically prevalent in Zionist thinking and international diplomacy around Palestine. Numerous schemes designed to transfer Jews to locales across Africa, Latin America and elsewhere had been investigated or proposed by the British, German, and American governments, as well as Zionist leaders themselves.[19] Ideas about population transfer and exchange also shaped visions of Jewish state-building in Palestine, with the Greek-Turkish exchange and other mass transfers viewed as models for removing Arab populations.[20] Some Zionists who had originally advocated for co-existence in Palestine switched over time to supporting population transfer as an aspect of state-building, following the growth in acceptance and implementation of organized population transfers across Europe.[21]

Organized forced migrations, transfers and systematic persecutions of Jews and others in Europe provided the background to mass settlement policies in Palestine. This included not only the rescue of European Jews suffering under the Nazi oppression, but also the development of plans by Zionists to encourage rapid migration as a means of altering the demographic balance in Palestine and creating a “political fact” of a Jewish majority as a prelude to state creation.[22] At times, the boundaries between voluntary and organized forced migration were blurred – as with the facilitated deportation of Zionist convicts from the Soviet Union to Palestine in the 1920s, or the controversial 1933 Transfer Agreement negotiated between Nazi Germany and Zionist organizations, which operated until 1939.[23] An organized population transfer was included in Britain’s 1937 Peel Commission plan for Palestine, and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt considered transfer schemes for Arabs from Palestine during World War II.[24] Roosevelt’s interest in organized forced migration was further reflected in a top-secret research project on transfers and resettlement – the M (for “Migration”) Project. Advisors to the project included experts and advocates for population transfer, including the Revisionist Zionist, Joseph Schechtman, who went on to serve on the unofficial Transfer Committee set up in 1948 to oversee land clearings and expulsions of Arabs that accompanied Israeli state formation.[25]

The demographic policies of the then dominant states in the international system were viewed as models for state development by Zionist leaders. These included future Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, whose plan for building a Jewish state in Palestine included changing the demographic balance in the region through a “radical ‘state plan’ of a swift population transfer” of one million Jews to Palestine within an 18-month period.[26] What later became known as the “Million Plan” included provisions to transfer Jews from Arab countries to Palestine, creating a new category of “Mizrahi Jews” as a means of counterbalancing the potential effects of the loss of Jews in Europe.[27] The principles laid out in the plan provided a basis for clandestine transfer and settlement operations carried out by Mossad Le’Aliya Bet, an arm of the Zionist paramilitary organization Haganah, which later became a branch of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, following the creation of the state of Israel.[28]

Early transfers of Jews from Arab countries and elsewhere in the world involved bilateral diplomacy, financial deals, and high levels of Israeli and external involvement – as well as elements of duress and resistance by the populations who were moved.[29] The transfer of Yemenis in the early 1950s was negotiated by Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and the governments of Aden and Yemen. Framed as a “rescue mission” at the time, it led to hundreds of Yemeni deaths and was marked by state abductions of Yemeni babies who were reallocated to Ashkenazi couples.[30]Mossad and the JDC were also involved in the transfer of Jews from Iraq in what are known as the Ezra and Nehemiah operations.[31] Operation Yachin, conducted in the 1960s, transferred Moroccan Jews to Israel. The movement was facilitated by the Mossad and accompanied by bilateral arrangements that included monetary payments from the Israeli Foreign Ministry to Morocco.[32] Similar financial deals were struck elsewhere – the resettlement of 100,000 Jews from Romania to Israel between 1948-51 led Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu to boast that Jews were one of the state’s “most important export commodities.”[33]

Displacements of Jews from across the Middle East have been variously framed or understood as rescues, transfers, expulsions, exodus, or population exchanges. The “population exchange thesis” has been promoted by some Israelis as a counterpoint to Palestinian claims for compensation or return – i.e. by labelling Jews from Arab countries as “refugees” and framing their transfers as part of a unified process of “exchange.”[34] In this respect, Ben Gurion’s “Plan Dalet,” — the military plan to take control of Mandatory Palestine described by some as the “blueprint” for expulsions of the Palestinians – provided the demographic counterpoint to the Million Plan.[35] The subsequent organized forced migration of Palestinians, which occurred concomitantly with the establishment of the Israeli state, and which has alternatively been characterized as expulsion or exodus, marked the beginning of the ongoing and still unresolved Palestinian refugee crisis.[36] Expulsions and displacements continued to occur after 1948, throughout the 1949-1956 period of Israeli state-building.[37]

The occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights following the 1967 Six-Day War led to a further exodus of Palestinians from the occupied territories, as well as proposals from within the Israeli government to reduce the population of the Gaza Strip by raising “international and Jewish money” to fund a transfer of the population and cast it as an exchange “like Greece and Turkey.”[38] In the period since 1967, ongoing “forcible transfers” in Israel-Palestine have led to the expulsion of over 14,000 Palestinians from East Jerusalem via residency revocations. These involuntary movements have been accompanied by the use of other demographic engineering policies, such as the building of settlements in Gaza (subsequently dismantled in 2005, following the withdrawal of Israeli military forces) and the West Bank.[39] As recently as 2020, then US President Donald Trump’s Abraham Accords included a proposal for a forced Arab population transfer.[40] There have been numerous calls by actors in Israel for an organized population transfer and resettlement of the Gaza Strip since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.[41]

Organized Forced Migration, Past and Present

The case of Israel-Palestine is simultaneously quite exceptional but also paradigmatic. Across the MENA region and beyond, organized forced migration has frequently been used as a tool of state-building and statecraft in ways both related and unrelated to the Israel-Palestine issue. Egypt, for example, expelled British, French and Israeli passport holders, as well as large segments of its native Jewish community, in retaliation for the 1956 Suez crisis and, quite possibly, to influence British and Israel foreign policy behavior.[42] During the 1990-91 Gulf War, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled or fled from Kuwait when Yasser Arafat expressed support for Saddam Hussein and attempted to link Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait with Israeli and Syrian withdrawals in Palestine and Lebanon.[43] At the same time, Saudi Arabia expelled a million Yemenis as a means of penalizing Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh for his support of Iraq and to signal its desire that Yemen rethink its position.[44] Organized forced migration has been used in the MENA region as a tool of colonization (e.g. by Morocco in Western Sahara), and decolonization (e.g. by Algeria in 1962 following independence, and by Libya in 1970), as well as wielded as a tool in geopolitics and international rivalries (e.g. Algeria and Morocco in 1975; Iraq and Iran in 1980; and Libya and Tunisia in 1985).[45]

Population transfers and exchanges featured in the still-unresolved 1974 conflict in Cyprus (a former Ottoman territory and British colony), and is just one case of the serial orchestrated expulsions of “Turks” and “Greeks” that occurred in every decade between the 1950s and 1990s, such as the expulsions of tens of thousands by Turkey in 1955 and 1967 and hundreds of thousands from Bulgaria in 1950-51 and 1989.[46] Strategies of organized forced displacement have also been used extensively in Turkey’s conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as well as in the Syrian Civil War.[47] Population transfers continue to be used by Turkey in its occupation of Northern Syria – a situation that has been described as a “new Gaza.”[48]

The extent to which the current situation in Gaza and Israel-Palestine is shaped by both the legacies and ongoing practices of organized forced migration is exceptional in many respects: 85% of the population of Gaza has been forcibly displaced since October 7th, and displacement has been accompanied by the highest daily death rate of any 21st century conflict so far, with the vast majority of deaths being civilians, women and children.[49] Furthermore, the use of organized forced migration in the Israel-Gaza war is occurring in the context of the broader historical trajectory of Israeli state-building, in which strategies, practices and discourses of population transfer, expulsion, exchange, exodus and “return” have all played highly significant roles. In several other respects, however, these same features of the Israel-Palestine case are also distressingly common: organized forced migration has been used as a geopolitical tool of state-building and statecraft far more than the literature in political science has reflected, and in ways that are also not reducible and limited to settler colonialism.[50] This suggests the need for adopting a broader analytical framework that accounts for its prevalence and significance in the case of Israel-Palestine, across the MENA region, and beyond.


Acknowledgements: The authors thank Yehonatan Abramson, Jeremy Cutler and Nathaniel George for their helpful comments and acknowledge financial support from the Gerda Henkel Foundation Grant no. AZ 02/FM/23.

[1] “Gaza Toll Tops 30,000 as Over 100 Killed in Aid Convoy Violence,” Associated Press, March 1, 2024; Les Roberts, “The Science is Clear: Over 30,000 People Died in Gaza. Time March 15, 2024:; Nadia Hardman, “Most of Gaza’s Population Remains Displaced and in Harm’s Way,” Human Rights Watch December 20, 2023:; Becky Sullivan, “Almost Two Million are Displaced in Gaza: Tents for Makeshift Homes Dwindling,” National Public Radio January 22, 2024:;

[2] See for example, Amy Teibel, “An Israeli Ministry, in a “Concept Paper,” Proposes Transferring Gaza Civilians to Egypt’s Sinai,” Associated Press October 31, 2023:; Katherine Hearst, “Israel-Palestine War: Israel Reportedly Proposed Writing off Egypt’s Debts for Hosting Gaza Refugees,” Middle East Eye October 31, 2023;; Nettanel Slyomovics, “Israeli Rightists are Trying to Reframe a Gaza Population Transfer as a ‘Moral Act.’ HaaretzNovember 17, 2023:; Israel Working to Expel Civilian Population of Gaza, UN Expert Warns. United Nations, December 22, 2023; United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner:; Shalom Yaroshami, “Israel in Talks with Congo and Other Countries on Gaza ‘Voluntary Migration’ Plan,” The Times of Israel January 4, 2024:;

[3] Fiona B. Adamson and Kelly M. Greenhill. 2023. Deal-making, Diplomacy and Transactional Forced Migration. International Affairs 99 (2): 707-725.

[4] Christopher M. Goebel. 1992. A Unified Concept of Population Transfer, Denver Journal of International Law and Policy 21: 29-53. For an excellent general overview of migration in the MENA region see Rawan Arar, Laurie Brand, Rana B. Khoury, Noora Lori, Lama Mourad and Wendy Pearlman. 2022. “Migration and Displacement,” in Marc Lynch, Jillian Schwedler and Sean Yom, eds., The Political Science of the Middle East: Theory and Research Since the Arab Uprisings Oxford: Oxford University Press: 232-255.

[5] This includes a long history of expulsions of Jews in different contexts. See, for example. Benjamin Z. Kedar. 1996. Expulsion as an Issue of World History. Journal of World History, 7(2): 165–80; Laura Robson. 2017. States of Separation: Transfer, Partition and the Making of the Modern Middle East Oakland: University of California Press Matthew Frank. 2017. Making Minorities History: Population Transfers in Twentieth-Century Europe Oxford: Oxford University Press. For a recent dataset on mass expulsions, see Meghan Garrity. 2022. Introducing the Government-Sponsored Mass Expulsion Dataset. Journal of Peace Research, 59(5): 767-776.

[6] Fatma Müge Göçek. 1995. Population Transfers in Mediterranean History: The Ottoman Empire in the Fourteenth-Seventeenth Centuries.  The Mediterranean Historical Review 68:

[7] Charles King. 2004. The Black Sea: A History Oxford: Oxford University Press: 207-15; Farid Shafiyev. 2018. Resettling the Borderlands: State Relocations and Ethnic Conflict in the South Caucasus Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press; Michael A. Reynolds. 2011. The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908-1919.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[8] Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky. 2024. Empire of Refugees: North Caucasian Muslims and the Late Ottoman State Stanford: Stanford University Press; Isa Blumi. 2013. Ottoman Refugees, 1878-1939 London: Bloomsbury; Nesim Şeker2013. Forced Population Movements in the Ottoman Empire and the Early Turkish Republic: An Attempt at Reassessment Through Demographic Engineering. European Journal of Turkish Studies 16; Kemal H. Karpat. 1985. Ottoman Population, 1830-1914: Demographic and Social Characteristics. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

[9] Fiona B. Adamson. 2024. Entangled Migration States: Mobility and State-Building in France and Algeria. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 50 (3): 597-616 (p. 603); Chahrazade Douah and Mélissa Godin, The Algerians of New Caledonia, Frontlines Magazine May 2, 2022:

[10] Francesca di Pasquale. 2018. The “Other” at Home: Deportation and Transportation of Libyans to Italy During the Colonial Era (1911-1943). International Review of Social History 63: 211-231.

[11] The Balkan Wars in particular led to large-scale expulsions and exodus of Muslim populations. See, e.g. Blumi 2013; Pekesen, Berna. 2012. Expulsion and Emigration of the Muslims from the Balkans. European History Online:

[12] Ronald Grigory Suny. 2011. They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else: A History of the Armenian Genocide. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Heather Rae. 2002. State Identities and the Homogenisation of Peoples.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 124-164.

[13] Onur Yildirim. 2006. Diplomacy and Displacement: Reconsidering the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations. New York: Routledge; Asli Iğsiz. 2018. Entangled Legacies of the Greek-Turkish Population Exchanges Stanford: Stanford University Press.

[14] Umut Ōzsü. 2014. Formalizing Displacement: International Law and Population Transfers. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Christa Meindersma. 1997. Population Exchanges: International Law and State Practice—Part 1, International Journal of Refugee Law 9 (3): 335–364. Previous exchanges had occurred between Bulgaria and Turkey, and Bulgaria and Greece.

[15] Tachijan Vahé. 2009. The expulsion of non-Turkish ethnic and religious groups from Turkey to Syria during the 1920s and early 1930s. Mass Violence & Résistance, [online]:, ISSN 1961-9898

[16] Robson 2017, 65-104; Adamson and Greenhill 2023.

[17] Frank 2013, 87; Vladimir Solonari. 2010. Purifying the Nation: Population Exchange and Ethnic Cleansing in Nazi-Allied Romania Washington DC., Johns Hopkins University Press, 32.

[18] Peter Gatrell. 2013. The Making of the Modern Refugee. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Alfred De Zayas. 1988. A Historical Survey of 20th Century Expulsions’, in Anna C. Bramwell, ed. Refugees in the Age of Total War. London: Routledge.

[19] See, e.g. Adam L. Rovner. 2014. In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands Before Israel. New York: New York University Press; Laura Almagor. 2022. Beyond Zion: The Jewish Territorialist Movement. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

[20] Nur Masalha. 1992. Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of Transfer in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948 Beirut: Institute for Palestinian Studies, 1992; Benny Morris. 2004. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (2nd edition, ch. 2); Chaim Simons. 1988. International Proposals to Transfer Arabs from Palestine, 1895-1947 Hoboken, NJ: Ktav Publishing House.

[21] Gil S. Rubin. 2019. “Vladimir Jabotinsky and Population Transfers Between Eastern Europe and Palestine,” The Historical Journal 62 (2): 495-517.

[22] Ari Barell and David Ohana, 2014: ‘The Million Plan’: Zionism, Political Theology and Scientific Utopianism. Politics, Religion and Ideology: /doi: 10.1080/21567689.2013.849587, p. 10.

[23] Ziva Galili and Boris Morozov. 2006. Exiled to Palestine: The Emigration of Zionist Convicts from the Soviet Union, 1924-1934 Abingdon: Routledge; David Yisraeli. 1972. The Third Reich and the Transfer Agreement, Journal of Contemporary History 6: 129–148

[24] Robson 2017, 112ff.; Samuel Halperin and Irvin Oder. 1962. The United States in Search of a Policy: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Palestine. The Review of Politics 24 (3): 320-341.

[25] Laura Robson. 2024. Human Capital: A History of Putting Refugees to Work London: Verso: 111-139, 181-182. See also Mark M. Mazower. 2009. No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

[26] Barell and Ohana, 2014, p. 16.

[27] Ibid., p. 3; Gil Eyal. 2006. The Disenchantment of the Orient Stanford: Stanford University Press: 86-89.

[28] Devorah Hakohen. 2003. Immigrants in Turmoil: Mass Immigration to Israel and Its Repercussions in the 1950s and After. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 33.

[29] See, e.g. Ella Shohat. 1988. Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the Perspective of Its Jewish Victims. Social Text 19 (2): 1-35; Tom Segev. 1988. 1949: The First Israelis New York: Simon and Schuster.

[30] Esther Meier-Glitzenstein. 2011. Operation Magic Carpet: Constructing the Myth of the Magical Immigration of Yemenite Jews to Israel Israel Studies 16 (3): 149-173. Joseph B. Schechtman. 1952. The Repatriation of Yemenite Jewry, Jewish Social Studies 14 (3): 209-225 (p. 221); Ofer Aderet, Hundreds of Yemenite Children were Abducted in State’s Early Years, Says Israeli Cabinet Minister. Haaretz July 31, 2016:

[31] Abbas Shiblak. 1986. The Lure of Zion: The Case of the Iraqi Jews London: Al Saqi; Avi Shlaim. 2023. Three Worlds: Memoirs of an Arab-Jew London: One World.

[32] Emanuela Travisan Semi. 2015. Double Trauma and Manifold Narratives: Jews’ and Muslims’ Representation of the Departure of Moroccan Jews in the 1950s and 1960s. In Glenda Abramson, ed. Sites of Jewish Memory: Jews in and From Islamic Lands. London: Routledge 45-63.

[33] James Koranyi, “People have been used as bargaining chips before – by Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu,” The Conversation March 1, 2017:

[34] Michael R. Fischbach. 2008. Palestinian Refugee Compensation and Israeli Counterclaims for Jewish Property in the Arab Countries. Journal of Palestine Studies 38 (1): 6-24; Yehouda Shenav. 2002. Jews from Arab Countries and the Palestinian Right for Return: An Ethnic Community in Realms of National Memory. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 29 (1): 27-56; Yehouda Shenhav. 1999. The Jews of Iraq, Zionist Ideology, and the Property of the Palestinian Refugees of 1948: An Anomaly of National Accounting. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 31 (4): 605–30.

[35] Ilan Pappe. 2006. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine London: Oneworld Publications; Walid Khalidi. 1988. Plan Dalet: Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine. Journal of Palestine Studies 18 (1): 4-19; Rashid Khalidi. 2020. The Hundred Years War on Palestine London: Profile Books, 72-3.

[36] See, for example, Morris. 2004; Pappe, 2006; Tom Segev. 2001.One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate: London: Picador; Efraim Karsh. 2010. Palestine Betrayed New Haven: Yale University Press.

[37] Morris 2004, p. 536. Segev 1998, p. 63; Benny Morris. 1993. Israel’s Border Wars, 1949-1956; Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War. Oxford Clarendon Press.

[38] Ilan Pappe. 2017. The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories. London: Oneworld, 54-55.

[39] Jonathan Rynhold and Dov Waxman. 2008. Ideological Change and Israel’s Disengagement from Gaza, Political Science Quarterly 123 (1): 11-37; Human Rights Watch, “Israel: Jerusalem Palestinians Stripped of Status,” August 8, 2017:; Amnesty International, Israel’s Apartheid System Against Palestinians: Cruel System of Domination and Crime Against Humanity (Section 6.1, Forcible Transfer, p. 219ff):; Ibrahim Husseini, “The Quiet Expulsion of Arabs From Jerusalem,” The New Arab December 28, 2022:

[40] Jo-Ann Mort, “The Trump-Netanyahu Plan to Force Arab Population Transfer,” New York Review of Books, February 3, 2020;

[41] Yair Rosenberg, “The Right Wing Israeli Campaign to Resettle Gaza,” The Atlantic December 22, 2023:; Margherita Stancati, “Israel’s Right Plots a ‘New Gaza’ without Palestinians.” Wall Street Journal January 29, 2024.

[42] Michael M. Laskier. 1995. Egyptian Jewry under the Nasser regime, 1956–70. Middle Eastern Studies, 31 (3): 573-619; Kelly M. Greenhill, forthcoming, Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, Foreign Policy, second edition Ithaca: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs.

[43] Philip Mattar. 1994. The PLO and the Gulf Crisis. Middle East Journal 48 (1)1: 31–46.

[44] Kelly M. Greenhill, 2010, Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, Foreign Policy Ithaca: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs; Bruce Reidel, “Saudi Arabia and the Civil War Within Yemen’s Civil War.” August 14, 2019. Brookings:

[45] Jacob Mundy. 2012. Moroccan Settlers in Western Sahara: Colonists or Fifth Column? The Arab World Geographer 15 (2): 95–126; Pamela Ballinger. 2016. Colonial Twilight: Italian Settlers and the Long Decolonization of Libya. Journal of Contemporary History 51 (4): 813-838 (p. 836);
Claire Eldridge. 2017. The Empire Returns: “Repatriates” and “Refugees” from French Algeria, in Matthew Frank and Jessica Reinisch, eds, Refugees in Europe 1919–1959: A Forty Years Crisis? London: Bloomsbury, 195–212; Algeria and Morocco: A Troubled History. Middle East Eye August 26, 2021:; Randa Farah. 2009. Refugee Camps in the Palestinian and Sahrawi National Liberation Movements: A Comparative Perspective. Journal of Palestine Studies 38 (2): 76–93. Christopher Dickey, “Tunisian-Libyan Border Tense After Expulsions.” The Washington Post September 12, 1985:; Zainab Saleh. 2013. On Iraqi Nationality: Law, Citizenship and Exclusion. The Arab Studies Journal 21 (1): 48-78; Greenhill, Weapons of Mass Migration.

[46] Oded Haklai and Neophytos Loizides, eds. 2015. Settlers in Contested Lands: Territorial Disputes and Ethnic Conflicts. Stanford: Stanford University Press; Spyros Vryonis. 2005. The Mechanism of Catastrophe: The Turkish Pogram of September 6-7, 1955, and the Destruction of the Greek Community of Istanbul. New York: Greekworks; Huey Louis Kostanick. 1955. Turkish Resettlement of Refugees from Bulgaria, 1950-1953. Middle East Journal 9 (1): 41-52.

Tomasz Kamusella. 2020. Between Politics and Objectivity: The Non-Remembrance of the 1989 Ethnic Cleansing of Turks in Communist Bulgaria, Journal of Genocide Research, 22 (4): 515-532.

[47] Fiona B. Adamson 2023. Migration Governance in Civil War: The Case of the Kurdish Conflict. European Journal of International Security 8 (4): 513–30; Adam G. Lichtenheld. Beyond Ethno-Sectarian “Cleansing”: The Assortative Logic of Forced Displacement in Syria. In Marc Lynch, Refugee Movements in the Middle East, POMEPS Studies 25, 2017, 42-48.

[48] Asli Aydintaşbaş, “A New Gaza? Turkey’s Border Policy in Northern Syria.” European Council on Foreign Relations, May 28, 2020:; Fehim Tastekin, “Turkey’s Occupation of Northern Syria Includes Population Transfers,” Al-Monitor, May 7, 2020:

[49] UN Security Council, SC/15564, January 12, 2024:; Oxfam, “Daily Death Rate in Gaza Higher than Any Other 21st Century Conflict.” January 11, 2024:; Marc Lynch and Sarah Parkinson. A Closer Look at the Gaza Casualty Data. Good Authority December 14, 2023:

[50] For discussions of Israel-Palestine in the context of settler colonialism, see: Rashidi 2020; Neve Gordon and Moriel Ram. 2016. Ethnic Cleansing and the Formation of Settler Colonial Geographies. Political Geography 53: 20-29; Lorenzo Veracini. Israel and Settler Society. London: Pluto Press, 2006. Maxime Rodinson. 1973. Israel: A Settler-Colonial State? Monad Press: New York. See also Lachlan McNamee. 2023. Settling for Less: Why States Colonize and Why They Stop. Princeton: Princeton University Press.