Before going further, I must admit that do not believe that the goal of Palestinian nationalism is a state in the West Bank and Gaza. All historical indications point to the Palestinian goal of national liberation "from the river to the sea." Hamas makes this pronouncement quite clear, and the history of Fatah/PLO is full of their internal pronouncements of dissatisfaction with a Palestinian state in anything but all the land west of the Jordan river. Indeed, the PLO's spiritual leader, Yasser Arafat, was a protege of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who starting in the 1920s spearheaded anti-Jewish attacks in Mandatory Palestine and began the path of "no negotiations, no peace." I do not believe that Fatah has moved away from this position despite their lip service pronouncements otherwise. Their unwillingness to waiver on the right of return issue is strong evidence of Fatah's intentions for the Jewish state of Israel.
So let us look at the elements of Palestinian nationalism. The achievement of Palestinian nationalistic aims requires the destruction of another state. This situation can be viewed in comparison to most other nationalist movements of the last 50 years. While many national liberation movements involved liberation from European colonialism, there are a few examples of national liberation struggles that provide better analogies to the Palestinian struggle. The best example, in my opinion, is the 30 year nationalist conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's national liberation struggle was driven by its Sinhalese population, and the subsequent independent state empowered the Sinhalese at the expense of the Tamil minority. The Tamil insurgency, even at its most violent and anti-Sinhalese, never professed its intention to destroy Sinhalese nationalism completely, the vision for Tamil Eelam foresaw a contiguous Tamil state coming into existence in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The idea of the Tamil insurgency was not the same kind of "Phased Plan" that the PLO adopted in 1974 because all indications were that the LTTE was satisfied to control Tamil majority-territory and leave the Sinhalese their state. Indeed, the entire point of the Tamil insurgency was to separate themselves from Sinhalese Sri Lanka, not to create a Tamil state in addition to imposing a Tamil "right of return" for those displaced during the civil war.
Other nationalist movements are generally similar to Sri Lanka. The 30 year insurgency in Timor-Leste (East Timor) was characterized by the East Timorese desire to take control of Christian majority parts of the island of Timor and leave Muslim majority Western Timor as part of Indonesia. Perhaps the most interesting is the story of Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean that is quite close to Israel. Long divided into Turkish and Greek populations. When Cyprus sought to free itself from Britain, the Greek Cypriot community sought to unify the island with mainland Greece, much to the consternation of Cyprus' Turkish population. Even the invasion and reinvasion of Cyprus by Greek then Turkish forces sought to partition the island into two instead of creating a binational Turkish or Greek state (the latter being the goal of the 1974 Greek coup that attempted to unify Cyprus and then unify the island with Greece). While the Republic of Cyprus claims sovereignty over the whole island, the partition has become de facto accepted and the right of return issue has been shelved in a way that has promoted the national aspirations of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Right of return is out of the question despite large scale displacements of both groups.
Palestinian nationalism is different because its realization would require Jews to either leave Israel or be subject to second class status in a Palestinian state as dhimmi. There is no place for Jewish self determination in the Palestinian state, and there never has been. The best analogy would be for indigenous peoples of the United States, Canada or Australia demanding not only their own state within those countries, but the destruction of those countries as part of the realization of indigenous native ambitions. As much as the founding of the U.S., Canada, Australia and most countries in the Americas involved terrible tragedies for natives living in those places and the loss of their national sovereignty, no one in modern society calls for the upheaval and return of nations to their "original" owners (whoever they may be). Indeed, the history of the world is so rife with ongoing changes of land and sovereignty, that it would be a fool's errand to try to piece it all together again. Indeed, the only realistic way to move forward is to accept what has come to be and move on from that with some semblance of compromise.
We live in a world where Europeans moved to the American and the Australian continents and a world where Jews returned to their ancient homeland after a 2000 year Diaspora. The existence of these facts necessarily tempers the nationalist aspirations of those already living there, or risk all out war as happened in Cyprus. Indeed, if modern history has taught us anything it is that sometimes separation is the best medicine to resolve internecine conflicts between ethnic or religious groups who cannot live together. The recent independence of Southern Sudan from its Muslim oppressors can be seen as the South Sudanese Christians and Animists realizing the dream of not being ruled over by Muslims who sought for years to slaughter them and destroy their way of life. The South Sudanese did not want to, in turn, expel or rule over the Muslims of the North, they simply wanted to make their own path and control their national destiny. The history of the Palestinian liberation movement is marked by the unwillingness of the Palestinians, or indeed any Arabs, to accommodate the nationalist aspirations of the Jews in the Jews' ancestral lands. Even before 1948, Arab nationalists tried hard to dispel any alleged connection between the Jews and Israel, claiming variously that modern Jews are "frauds" who killed off the real Jews and took their place or that archeological and historical evidence linking Jews to key places in Jerusalem, Hebron and Jericho were simply fabricated. From the beginning, accommodating the Jewish homeland was simply out of the question, and in many ways, it still is today.
Palestinians view the creation of Israel as a nakba (catastrophe) and have spent so much time and energy plotting how to destroy the Jewish state that they have spent little time considering how to build their own. Arab nations have spent so much energy keeping Palestinians in refugee camps as a demographic weapon to be unleashed against Israel and its Jewish majority that they have stifled the advancement of Palestinian society in any form. The stubborn unwillingness of Palestinian leadership to give up demands for their side that would require the end of Jewish self determination in Israel. Meanwhile, the Israeli government has on several occasions offered solutions for the Palestinians to have self-determination in certain territories, offers that have been continuously rejected because they do not allow the Palestinian leadership to fulfill their true goal: the destruction of Israel and Jewish self determination. So long as that is the goal, it is difficult to imagine how Israel can consider ceding land to Palestinians when all prior land grants have led to those territories being used as bases of operation to attack Israel and Jewish civilians.