CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted improved Times of Israel wording regarding the number of living Palestinian refugees. The Jan. 27 article, “TV report: Israel now wants Trump to reject Palestinian ‘right of return,'” had been unclear about the number of living Palestinian refugee, stating: “The Palestinians demand this right not only for those of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are still alive but also for their descendants, who number in the millions.” Readers could easily misunderstand from this language that there are hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees still alive.
The number of Palestinian refugees still alive today numbers in the low tens of thousands. As Times of Israel previously noted
If the normal UN definition had been applied to the estimated 650,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from what became Israel in the late 1940s, the Palestinian refugee problem today would extend to the relatively few survivors among those 650,000 — a number estimated in the low tens of thousands.
In addition, Times of Israel previously published this 2012 AP story, which reported:
The U.N. agency counted 860,000 individuals in 1951. Those registered refugees and their descendants now total 5 million living in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank. Those who favor a distinction between the two argue that more than a half-century later, there are only 30,000 original refugees left.
In response to communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, editors commendably clarified, adding the phrase “a figure estimated in the low tens of thousands,” regarding the number of living Palestinian refugees.