Palestinian right of return

Definition and Background of the Palestinian Right of Return
– The Palestinian right of return is the principle that Palestinian refugees and their descendants have a right to return to their homes and reclaim their property in what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories.
– It is based on the 1948 Palestinian expulsion and flight, as well as the 1967 Six-Day War.
– The right of return is considered a human right protected under international law.
– Proponents argue that Israel’s Law of Return grants all Jews the right to settle permanently, while Palestinians are denied a comparable right.
– Opponents argue that the right of return is not supported by international law and is an unrealistic demand.

Size and Impact of the Palestinian Refugee Population
– The number of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war is estimated to be between 700,000 and 800,000.
– An additional 280,000 to 350,000 people became refugees as a result of the 1967 war.
– It is estimated that 120,000 to 170,000 of the 1967 refugees were also refugees from the 1948 war.
– The current estimated number of Palestinian refugees exceeds four million.
– The right of return has been of great importance to Palestinians since the 1948 war.

UN Resolutions on the Right of Return
– UN General Assembly Resolution 194, passed on 11 December 1948, stated that refugees wishing to return to their homes should be permitted to do so, and compensation should be paid for those choosing not to return.
– UN General Assembly Resolution 3236, passed on 22 November 1974, declared the right of return to be an inalienable right.
– The right of return was defined as the foremost of Palestinian rights at the 1974 Palestine National Council meeting.
– Israel has consistently rejected the Palestinians’ inherent right of return.
– The right of return is considered a key component of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s inalienable rights.

Causes and Responsibilities of the 1948 Palestinian Exodus
– The causes and responsibilities of the 1948 Palestinian exodus are still a matter of controversy among historians and commentators.
– There is disagreement on whether the exodus resulted from a pre-planned Zionist strategy or was an unintended consequence of the war.
– Around 700,000 to 800,000 Palestinians left, fled, or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 war.
– Some Palestinians left voluntarily, expecting to return when the situation calmed down.
– Expulsions and offensives by Israeli forces led to a significant number of Palestinians becoming refugees.

Absentees Property and Prevention of Refugee Return
– Israeli leaders decided against the return of Palestinian refugees during the Palestinian exodus.
– Local authorities, settlement departments, and influential figures lobbied against repatriation.
– The Transfer Committee and a policy of faits accomplis were established to prevent refugee return.
– Israeli land and property laws were enacted to prevent the return of Palestinian refugees.
– The issue of repatriation and property rights remains a contentious aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Sources: