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One is the people who stayed in Israel after the 1948 division of the area—even though they are not Jewish—and their descendants. Second are the Palestinians who actually live in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, owning their own land and homes. Third are Palestinians who had to flee from the wars that took place in 1948 and 1967, and may live in refugee camps in the Palestinian I n C a se yo u W e R e Won de R In g Refugee camps are homes for Palestinians who have lost their real homes because of war or land disputes with Israel.

People usually live with their families until they are married. While divorce is not socially accepted, a woman who gets divorced may return to her parents’ home with her children. Ties between parents and children are very close, and boys are expected to protect their sisters and care for them and their mother if necessary. When children finish school, they must pass a final exam to attend college. A college education is very important to Palestinians, even though it is expensive and does not guarantee a job.

Palestinians are known not only for their strong family ties and their values of courage, freedom, generosity, and hospitality, but also for their sociability. When they pass each other in the street, they generally smile and nod. They often exchange greetings like Al-salam alaykum (“Peace be upon you”) or Ma al-salameh, deer balak (“Goodbye, take care”). Women or close friends might also greet each other with a handshake, hug, and kiss on the cheek, but for religious reasons men and women who aren’t related to each other only exchange spoken greetings when they meet.

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