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Commentary: Throwing away Palestinian refugee rights

Throwing away Palestinian refugee rights

(E/40/03)

BADIL Resource Center
13 October 2003
For Immediate Release


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Talks between Palestinians and Israelis that ignore the rights of Palestinian refugees under international law and human rights conventions will not produce a durable solution to the issue, says BADIL, the Bethlehem-based Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights.

Recent talks held in Geneva and Amman not only ignored international law but press reports say that all UN resolutions and previous agreements would be supplanted under any plan resulting from these talks. A future peace must be based on international law, says BADIL.

Why do Palestinian refugees insist on the recognition of their rights?

BADIL points to the huge body of international law and conventions developed over the past 100 years on human rights and the rights of all refugees. This includes UN Resolution 194 of 1948 that guarantees Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes and restitution for property lost. These rights have been enshrined in international law. How individuals will exercise this right is a matter of their personal choice as outlined in various other international agreements, says BADIL.

BADIL takes a rights-based approach to the issue of Palestinian refugees and is sponsoring a series of seminars to improve the understanding of this approach; build a network of experts on various aspects of the refugee issue; encourage research on Palestinian rights and enhance the understanding of and support for a rights-based approach among policymakers, politicians, the media and Palestinians themselves.

The most recent seminar on housing and property restitution was held last week. It will be followed by a seminar on International and Regional Mechanisms for Palestinian Refugee Protection in Cairo next spring.

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For further information contact: BADIL, P.O. Box 728, Bethlehem
Tel/Fax:970-2-274-7346 or resource @badil.org