I was born and I live in Israel. I live in a town called Ashkelon. There are Palestinians and Bedouins living all over Israel. They live in small villages as well as big cities and everything else in between. There are cities in Israel where there are larger concentrations of Palestinians living along side Israelis. Some of those cities are Naharia, Akko, Haifa, Jaffa, Ramla (not to be mistaken with Ramallah), Lod and Beer Shiva, just to name a few. There are also Palestinian farmers scattered about.
In 1948, when Israel became a state, many Palestinians were frightened for their lives and fled to Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, among other countries.
When I was little, we used to live on a farm near Ashkelon.
Seven miles away was the Palestinian town of Ashkelon. My parents told me that before 1948, they used to go to Ashkelon for shopping and groceries, but after Israel became a state, the residents of Ashkelon fled to Gaza, which is also 7 miles further south.
The town was abandoned, and a couple of years later, Israelis began moving in. However, until today, there are still a few Palestinians living here. I live at the edge of the town, and I have an agricultural field in front of my house. All the farmers who work there are Palestinians.
I don't know that there was actually any reason for all those people to leave, other than fear because of the new government and new people migrating in very large quantities from foreign countries.
Nonetheless, as I have repeated, I am Israeli, my grandmother was born in Bethlehem in 1893 and her mother was born in Hebron before that. Therefore, there are Israelis who can trace back their ancestry in this country for centuries.
This is what I know from first hand information.
EDIT: The link HopelesZOO provided you with is undeniably correct. There was a huge and uncalled for massacre in the city of Deir Yassin. in 1948.
M. Miche ; })