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 the Druze, among other religious communities.
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.
As the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics defines the area covered in its statistics survey as including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, the number of Arabs in Israel is calculated as just over 20% of the Israeli population (2013).Most Israelis refer to the 1948 Arab–Israeli War as the War of Independence, while most Arab citizens refer to it as the Nakba (catastrophe), a reflection of differences in perception of the purpose and outcomes of the war.In the aftermath of the 1947–49 war, the territory previously administered by the British Empire as Mandatory Palestine was de facto divided into three parts: the State of Israel, the Jordanian-held West Bank, and the Egyptian-held Gaza Strip.The traditional vernacular of most Arab citizens, irrespective of religion, is the Palestinian dialect of Arabic.Most Arab citizens of Israel are functionally bilingual, their second language being Modern Hebrew.
Arabs who held Israeli citizenship were entitled to vote for the Israeli Knesset.