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Press Statements by Ziad Abu Zayad on the Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees Trigger Public Protest in Palestine

Statement by the Popular Service Committees and Palestinian National Institutions in the Refugee Camps of the Northern West Bank, July 1999 

On 14 July 1999, representatives of the Popular Service Committees and Palestinian national convened a meeting in al-Far’a camp in order to discuss recent statements by PLC member and PA minister Ziad Abu Zayad on the right of return of the Palestinian refugees and its implementation. Subject of this discussion were both, Ziad Abu Zayad’s interview with the Israeli radio and his clarifications, published in Al-Quds newspaper on 3 July 1999. 

The participants in this meeting consider both statements as dangerous and a threat to the national rights of the Palestinian people, in particular to the right of the refugees to return to their homes and to receive compensation for lost properties, as well as material and non-material damages. The participants issued the following statements: 

1. We denounce and condemn the statements made by Ziad Abu Zayad as they do not reflect the Palestinian refugee position in Palestine and the Diaspora. 
2. We re-affirm our firm and sacred right of return and our right to compensation guaranteed to us by UN resolutions, especially UN Resolution 194. We consider these rights as non-negotiable national rights. 
3. We call upon the refugee committees of the PLC and the PNC to implement their responsibilities regarding refugee issues, to strongly condemn statements of this kind which undermine the refugee position, and to prevent official representatives from making personal statements which weaken the refugee position. 
4. We call upon the PLO Refugee Department to firmly reprimand persons who issue irresponsible statements that –we can only suspect – are given in order to undermine the refugee position. 
5. We call upon everybody, Palestinian politicians and representatives to take a firm position on Palestinian national rights and to abstain from evading them under all circumstances. At the same time, we warn those people who are afraid of advocating Palestinian rights, that they will be judged by the Palestinian people. 
6. We call upon President Arafat to stop at the roots all those who attempt to trespass or weaken the national rights of the Palestinian refugees. 

OUR RIGHT TO RETURN AND COMPENSATION IS FIRM AND SACRED. THIS RIGHT IS THE RED LINE THAT WE WILL NOT PERMIT ANYBODY TO CROSS! 

The Popular Service Committees and Palestinian National Institutions in the Refugee Camps of the Northern West Bank. 

For further information contact: BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights, PO Box 728, Bethlehem, Palestine; tel/fax. 02-2747346; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..