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is the Israeli government's designation for non-Jewish Israeli citizens, the majority of whose cultural and linguistic heritage or ethnic identity is Arab.Many identify as Palestinian and commonly self-designate themselves as Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Most Arab citizens of Israel are functionally bilingual, their second language being Modern Hebrew.By religious affiliation, most are Muslim, particularly of the Sunni branch of Islam.There is a significant Arab Christian minority from various denominations as well as Druze, among other religious communities.Israeli Mizrahi Jews are not usually considered to form part of this population.According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, the Arab population in 2013 was estimated at 1,658,000, representing 20.7% of the country's population.Many have family ties to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
Negev Bedouins and Druze tend to identify more as Israelis than other Arab citizens of Israel.
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, while critics of Israel (or supporters of Palestinians) tend to use Palestinian or Palestinian Arab without referencing Israel.
and 'Israeli Arabs' to refer to the same population.
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.
The latter appellation, among others listed above, are not applied to the East Jerusalem Arab population or the Druze in the Golan Heights, as these territories were occupied by Israel in 1967.