Palestinian Refugees and their Right of Return

Palestinian Refugee Right of Return

To this day, the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime has denied the Palestinian people the right of return, a right repeatedly affirmed by the international community, primarily through the adoption of racist laws that regulate citizenship and residency as well as property and land ownership. Israel’s denial of the right of return directly breaches international law, which compels states to make remedies for wrongful acts committed and guarantee non-recurrence of said acts, and constitutes a violation of the Palestinian right to self-determination, which without the right of return for Palestinian refugees and IDPs would be incomplete. The international community must exert pressure on Israel to recognize the right of return of Palestinian refugees, and to implement it, starting with the revocation of all legislation and policies in place that deny return of all those displaced, followed by taking positive steps to facilitate the repatriation of all those displaced

 

Research  |  Al-Majdal Articles   |  Legal Interventions | Survey of Palestinian Refugees and IDPs

 

 

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Survey of Palestinian Refugees and IDPs

 

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Protection Gap for Palestinian Refugees

A protection gap exists for Palestinian refugees worldwide due to the misinterpretation and misguided application of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the inability of the UNCCP to carry out its mandate thereby making it an essentially defunct organ, and the circumscribed mandate of UNRWA, which limits its work to humanitarian activities. In particular, the key role of the UNCCP and its termination has not been adequately considered by either UNHCR or any judicial authority with regard to what international protection obligations are owed Palestinian refugees. Until this issue is properly analyzed and corrected, Palestinian refugees will continue to receive lesser protection than they were guaranteed by the international community.

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United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA)

Originally established by UN Resolution 302 of 1949 to carry out direct relief and works programs for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA’s mandate has been repeatedly renewed in light of the ongoing Palestinian refugee question. It’s short-term but renewable mandate and the absence of mechanisms to address the natural growth of the Palestinian refugee population since its establishment, together with the predominately voluntary funding system which is adversely susceptible to world politics, have resulted in a chronic funding crisis for the Agency and decreases in the quality and quantity of services provided to refugees. It is the responsibility of the international community to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance and rights-based protections to Palestinian refugees and to act with immediate effect to resolve the funding crisis. Financing the essential programs run by UNRWA to ensure basic human rights must be made a mandatory obligation of the international community.

 

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