"Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories."
-- Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, tells students at Bar Ilan University, From the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.
That every Palestinian has a legitimate, individual right to return to his or her original home and to absolute restitution of his or her property.
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What is the peace process doing about the refugees?
The Oslo Accords and the formation of the Palestinian Authority have created widespread confusion, both locally among Palestinians and internationally, about the meaning of the right to return in this new context. It therefore is important to clarify that:
- Political negotiations and agreements between Israel and the PLO, cannot invalidate international law and UN resolutions. The Oslo agreements leave the issue of refugees to be resolved as part of the final status negotiations and the position of the PLO continues to be a demand for full restitution and repatriation of the refugees. According to standards of international law -- existing international law and UN resolutions can be replaced only by a political agreement whose provisions grant rights equal to or beyond those defined by international law.
- UN resolution 194 is not invalidated by a PA declaration of a Palestinian state on whatever territory. UN resolution 194 provide for the refugees' right to return to their homes. These homes are located in the territory of the state of Israel.
- Although UN resolution 194 can be technically abolished by its repeal by the UN General Assembly, the right of return, solidly anchored in a wide range of international law, will remain a right and legitimate claim, until surrendered by Palestinian refugees themselves.
Refugees FAQ index | Be Informed Index
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