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Arabs who held Israeli citizenship were entitled to vote for the Israeli Knesset.Arab Knesset members have served in office since the First Knesset.Arabs who left their homes during the period of armed conflict, but remained in what had become Israeli territory, were considered to be "present absentees".In some cases, they were refused permission to return to their homes, which were expropriated and turned over to state ownership, as was the property of other Palestinian refugees.The Islamic Movement began to affect electoral politics particularly at the local level.Many Arab citizens supported the First Intifada and assisted Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, providing them with money, food, and clothes.Most of the Arabs living in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed, were offered Israeli citizenship, but most have refused, not wanting to recognize Israel's claim to sovereignty. Generally speaking, supporters of Israel tend to use Israeli Arab or Arab Israeli to refer to this population without mentioning Palestine, while critics of Israel (or supporters of Palestinians) tend to use Palestinian or Palestinian Arab without referencing Israel.
Others include some from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank who procured Israeli citizenship under family-unification provisions that were recently made significantly more stringent.
Common practice in contemporary academic literature is to identify this community as Palestinian as it is how the majority self-identify (See Self-Identification below for more).
Terms preferred by most Arab citizens to identify themselves include Palestinians, Palestinians in Israel, Israeli Palestinians, the Palestinians of 1948, Palestinian Arabs, Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel or Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Most Israelis refer to the 1948 Arab–Israeli War as the War of Independence, while most Arab citizens refer to it as the Nakba (catastrophe), a reflection of differences in perception of the purpose and outcomes of the war.
In the aftermath of the 1947–49 war, the territory previously administered by the British Empire as Mandatory Palestine was de facto divided into three parts: the State of Israel, the Jordanian-held West Bank, and the Egyptian-held Gaza Strip.