The family of Suzy Ambache (who later married Abba Eban) was among 10,000 Palestinian Jews transplanted to Egypt after they were driven out by the Ottoman authorities during World War 1.
It is a little known fact that a segment of the Jewish community of Egypt were refugees forced out of Palestine by the Turkish authorities during the Great War. Most settled in Alexandria, continuing to speak Hebrew. Some 6,000 returned to Palestine when the war was over but 4,000 remained.Arutz sheva* reports:
The Jews were refugees in their own land when on March, 28, 1917, the Ottoman Governor, Jamal Pasha ordered the forced evacuation of the total populations of Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The results were catastrophic.
The outbreak of World War I, on August 1, 1914, had dire consequences for the over 90,000 Jews of Eretz Yisrael.During the traumatic days of the First World War, the Jews of Eretz Yisrael faced a brutal wave of persecution. This wave intensified over Passover, 1917, when Jewish communities were forced from their homes to wander as refugees within their own land who would return to their homes a year and a half later.
On October 28, 1914, the Ottoman Turks made a monumental decision and joined the War on the side of the Central Powers with the Germans, and Austrio-Hungarian Empire. Jews in Eretz Yisrael with Russian citizenship, now being deemed within the enemy camp, faced the brunt of Ottoman Turkish oppression. By the end of the year almost 12,000 Jews had fled, or had been expelled, mostly to Alexandria Egypt. Some Jews faced conscription into the Turkish army.
Over the next few years Jewish suffering would increase in the Land due to the shortages of supplies, the hoarding of supplies by the Turks, and the stoppage of a large percentage of relief funds from Russian Jewry, resulting in starvation and disease. By the end of the war, the numbers of Jews of Eretz Yisrael were reduced to less than half of what they were in 1914. A large segment of the population was lost to starvation and disease.
*See Eliyahu’s comment below