From the Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2012, pp. 75-83, by Steven J. Rosen (very brief excerpt only - follow the link to read the full article or view PDF)
Much has been made of the Palestinian exodus of 1948. Yet during their decades of dispersal, the Palestinians have experienced no less traumatic ordeals at the hands of their Arab brothers.
As early as the mid-1950s, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Libya expelled striking Palestinian workers. In 1970, Jordan expelled some 20,000 Palestinians and demolished their camps; in 1994-95, Libya expelled tens of thousands of long-term Palestinian residents in response to the Oslo process; and after the 2003 Iraq war, some 21,000 Palestinians fled the country in response to a systematic terror and persecution campaign. As recently as 2007, Beirut effectively displaced 31,400 Palestinian refugees when the Lebanese army destroyed the Nahr el Bared refugee camp during fighting between the militant Fatal al-Islam group and the Lebanese army.
The expulsion of Kuwait's Palestinians was precipitated by the endorsement of Iraq's brutal occupation of the emirate (August 1990-February 1991) by Yasser Arafat (right, here with Saddam Hussein, hands raised). Whether true or not, Palestinians were viewed by Kuwait's rulers as "fifth columnists" and forced to leave their decades-old homes.
Yet while this expulsion was near the order of magnitude of the Palestinian 1948 flight (estimated by the Israeli government at 550,000-600,000 and by the Arab League at 700,000), driving PLO chairman Yasser Arafat to declare that "what Kuwait did to the Palestinian people is worse than what has been done by Israel to Palestinians in the occupied territories," it was largely ignored by the international community with neither the U.N. Security Council nor the General Assembly doing anything to assist the newly displaced refugees and punish their ethnic cleanser....
...Kuwait's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians is notable not only because of its exponentially large scale but because it afforded the ultimate proof of the cynical Arab manipulation of the Palestinian cause. The Palestinian Kuwaiti community was arguably one of the most settled and economically integrated of Palestinian Arab diasporas, yet this did not prevent its uprooting in one fell swoop through no fault of its own. As such, the Kuwait expulsion constituted the greatest setback to the "reintegration of the refugees into the normal life of the Near East," presented by successive U.N. resolutions as a crucial step toward Arab-Israeli peace.