On the Occassion of the 52nd Anniversary of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194: The Right of Return - Joint Statement Issued by Palestine Right-of-Return Initiatives in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Canada-USA, and London

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On 11 December 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted in its third session Resolution 194, whose Paragraph 11 clearly states the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their original homes and villages from which they were displaced during the war. The Resolution does not only affirm this right, but also establishes the mechanism for its implementation. Paragraph 2 established the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine - UNCCP, which - based in the city of Jerusalem, was to carry the responsibility for the implementation of the right of return. Moreover, Paragraph 11, also emphasized the necessity to assist those refugees until they return. This task was to be carried by the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees - UNRPR, a commission which preceded UNRWA, established a year after the adoption of Resolution 194 by General Assembly Resolution 302 (4th session on 8-12-1949).

Resolution 194 was adopted only six months before Israel's admission as a member of the United Nations (GA Resolution 273, 11 May 1949). Israel's admission was conditioned by an Israeli commitment to carry out the obligations under the UN charter and United Nation resolutions, including Resolution 194.

Since then, Resolution 194 has been reaffirmed more than one-hundred times by the General Assembly. It has been included in subsequent resolutions, such as Resolutions 513 (1952),  2452 (1968), and 2936 (1972), and in General Assembly resolutions that consider the refugee problem caused by the denial and the neglect of the inalienable rights defined under the UN charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These resolutions link the right of return with the right to self-determination and establish the right of return as a condition for the implementation of the right to self-determination. In this context, we particularly point at  Resolution 3236 of 1974, which is called by some international legalists "the bill of rights of the Palestinian people."

It a paradox, and ironic, that Israel - which was established by one of the UN resolutions - has refused implementation of all resolutions issued by the same international body, especially Resolution 194 adopted 52 years ago.

This year's anniversary of UN Resolution 194 coincides with the blessed al-Aqsa Intifada, which has continued for more than two months. Now that it is clear, based on the results of the latest Camp David summit, that negotiations over the issues pertaining to the final settlement of the conflict (e.g. Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, refugee question) have failed, we wish to re-affirm here that the right of return is one of the Intifada's national aims.

In this context, we confirm that the provocative visit of the terrorist Sharon to Al-Aqsa Mosque represented the spark which set the whole region on fire. It was an opportunity imposed by necessity - the necessity to rise up against the logic of Oslo and its destructive results, among them the by-passing of the legal framework of Palestinian rights as enshrined in international law and UN resolutions.

On the occasion of this anniversary, we reaffirm:

The undersigned call upon:

Lets work to build the Return Intifada in the exile and Al-Aqsa Intifada in Palestine, all of Palestine, an Intifada which will ultimately achieve the implementation of the national rights of the Palestinian people, foremost the right of return and the right of self-determination. 
  Glory, Honor and Eternity to our Brave Martyrs We Will Return A'idoun Group, Lebanon;
A'idoun Group, Syria;
Al-Awda Committee, Jordan;
The Society of Internally Displaced in Palestine 1948 (Israel);
Union of Youth Activity Centers in Palestine Refuge Camps-Gaza South, Palestine;
Popular Service Committees-Gaza South, Palestine;
Popular Committees of 'Aida, Beit Jibrin ('Azza), Deheishe, al-Arroub, al-Fawwar camps, Palestine;
Youth Activity Centers of 'Aida, Beit Jibrin, Deheishe camps, Palestine;
Shahida Amal Cultural Center, 'Aida camp, Palestine;
Palestinian Prisoners' Society, West Bank; Palestine;
Al-'Oud Sports Union, 'Aida camp, Palestine;
Al-Rowwad Theater, 'Aida camp, Palestine;
BADIL Resource Center, Bethlehem, Palestine;
Awlad Albalad; Ebal for Arabic Affairs; Canada;
Aidoun Group-North America;
Al-Awda London;