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Call for Restitution and Protection of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem

Issued by the Lobby for Human Rights in Jerusalem 
on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, UN Resolution 194, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

Our Jerusalem is a Jerusalem of eviction, displacement and disownership caused by the establishment and expansion of the Zionist Israeli state in our region. Between 1948 and 1998, Israeli occupation policies have resulted in: 


  • 80,000 Palestinians from western Jerusalem (1948);
  • 35,000 Palestinian from East Jerusalem (1967);
  • 60-70,000 Palestinians Jerusalemites forced into exile or migration (1968-1998);
  • Thousands of Palestinian children of Jerusalem denied registration as residents of the city (1982 - 1998);
  • More than 4,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites turned homeless refugees as a result of the Israeli policy of ID card confiscation (1996 - 1998);


  • Some 35,000 dunums (35 sqkm) of Palestinian lands and over urban 10,000 homes, in addition to commercial enterprises (1948);
  • 67,700 dunums (92.7%) of Palestinian lands confiscated, declared as “green land”, or otherwise inaccessible for Palestinian housing construction in occupied and annexed East Jerusalem (1967 - 1998);
  • Some 50 Palestinian homes designated annually for demolition. 96 homes demolished since the signing of the Oslo Accords (1993 - 1998);
  • Extraction of illegal taxation serving the Israeli occupation (1967 - 1998);
  • Denial of Palestinian access to work and vital services in their capital (military closure, 1993 - 1998);
  • Interruption of Palestinian public services by outlawing Palestinian institutions (1994 - 1998)

The correction of 50 years of cumulative injustice and damage is a basic requirement for peaceful coexistence in our multi-cultural and multi-ethnic city. What is at stake is not commemoration, but implementation of all international declarations and resolutions which confirm and protect Palestinian rights in Jerusalem (especially UN Resolution 194 (Right of Return and Compensation), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Fourth Geneva Convention. 

We, members of the Lobby for Human Rights in Jerusalem as part of our Palestinian community in Jerusalem, demand: 

From the Palestinian leadership  

a) to develop a comprehensive strategy for the defense of Palestinian Jerusalem which includes support and protection to Palestinian Jerusalemites threatened by eviction, as well as an active role for community based initiatives of resistance and steadfastness against the Israeli occupation; 
b) to raise the Palestinian right to restitution in all state and international forums established to arrange for the restitution of victims of the Nazi crimes. (Palestinians were exiled and disowned as a result of the Nazi crimes in Europe and their right to restitution must be raised in this context;) 
c) to guarantee that any agreement negotiated and signed with Israel in the future will address the problems listed above and provide for the re-instatement of the rights of those evicted and disowned in the past. 

From the international community  

a) to respect international resolutions and standards which can protect Palestinian rights in Jerusalem and provide for their restitution (illegality of occupation, repatriation, return of property and compensation);   
b) to pressure Israel to abide to the standards set by these resolutions and standards, especially UN Resolution 181 and 194, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Fourth Geneva Convention. 

From Israel 

a) to stop all violations of Palestinian human rights in Jerusalem committed on the basis of the illegal occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, especially land confiscation, house demolition, denial of residency rights, and discriminatory planning policies; 
b) to abstain from all double standards in regards to lost Jewish and lost Palestinian property, i.e. to freeze  all questionable refugee assets held by the Custodian for Absentee Property or other state institutions; to abstain from the transfer of refugee property to private Jewish ownership; to open government and private institutional records related to lost refugee properties; 
c) to provide for the restitution of Palestinian rights in Jerusalem based on international resolutions, conventions, and standards -  including repatriation, return of property and compensation. 

Jerusalem, 10 December 1998 

Lobby for Human Rights in Jerusalem 
(Addameer, al-Haq, BADIL Resource Center, Citizen’s Rights Center - Arab Though Forum, Freedom’s Defense Center, Jerusalem Center for Women, Palestine Human Rights Information Center, Women’s Center for Legal Aid & Counseling, Women’s Affairs Technical Committee)