Why do they have Egyptian citizenship you might ask, if they’re really members of the ancient Palestinian nation? (est. 1991) It’s because they are Egyptians.
Much of the so-called Palestinian Arab leadership consists of Egyptians.
Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929, before Israel was even founded as a modern state. Mahmoud Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, who was planning to vote in the Egyptian election, is set to lose his Egyptian citizenship.
And then there was Hamas interior minister Fathi Hammad who has a tendency to state inconvenient truths.
Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri ["Egyptian"]. Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.
Who are the Palestinians? We have many families called Al-Masri, whose roots are Egyptian. Egyptian! They may be from Alexandria, from Cairo, from Dumietta, from the North, from Aswan, from Upper Egypt. We are Egyptians. We are Arabs. We are Muslims. We are a part of you.
Because if the so-called Palestinians are really nothing more than Egyptian and Syrian migrants, then the legitimacy of their cause falls apart.
The (1831-1840) conquest, by Egypt’s Mohammed Ali, was solidified by a flow of Egyptian and Sudanese migrants settling empty spaces between Gaza and Tul-Karem up to the Hula Valley. They followed in the footsteps of thousands of Egyptian draft dodgers, who fled Egypt before 1831 and settled in Acre. The British traveler, H.B. Tristram, identified, in his 1865 The Land of Israel: a journal of travels in Palestine (p. 495), Egyptian migrants in the Beit-Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.
The British Palestine Exploration Fund documented that Egyptian neighborhoods proliferated in the Jaffa area: Saknet el-Mussariya, Abu Kebir, Abu Derwish, Sumeil, Sheikh Muwanis, Salame’, Fejja, etc. In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 nationalities, including Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Balochis. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled in Ara’ Arara’, Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.
“Ibrahim Pasha, Palestine’s Egyptian conqueror, had left behind him permanent colonies of Egyptian immigrants at Beisan, Nablus, Irbid, Acre and Jaffa. Some 500 Egyptian soldiers’ families established a new quarter [in Jaffa], and that was only one among countless similar situations.
This was always about the Muslim physical and cultural colonialism of the land of the indigenous Jewish population.