(9 October 2018) BADIL releases Working Paper No. 22 on Denial of Reparations


BADIL releases Working Paper No. 22 on Denial of Reparations, as part of its ten-paper series on Forced Population Transfer: The Case of Palestine.

This Working Paper focuses on the Israeli denial of reparations – specifically return, restitution, compensation and guarantees of non-repetition – and its two-fold implication on the Israeli practices of forcible population transfer of the Palestinian people. A policy often overlooked, and poorly understood, in analyses of policies of forcible transfer, this paper considers on the one hand how the denial of reparations to Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) results in situations of particular vulnerability, creating an inherently greater risk of and facilitating subsequent forced displacement. On the other, this paper explores the way in which the denial of reparations and the lack of accountability in that regard perpetuates and emboldens Israel in its execution of other policies of forcible population transfer explored throughout this series.
Firmly based on a framework of international law, which entrenches the right to reparations in a multitude of contexts – from international human rights law and international humanitarian law, to the law of nations and refugee law – this paper details the specific obligations to protect against forcible population transfer under each of these bodies of law, and the right to reparations that follow should displacement occur. In respect of each component of reparation to which Palestinians are entitled, the paper then juxtaposes those rights against the policies implemented by Israel to systematically deny Palestinians those rights and protections.
This paper then concludes with an examination of the obligations of the international community vis-à-vis forcibly displaced Palestinians in light of Israel’s complete lack of compliance with its obligations. Highlighting that third state responsibility and the role of the international community in providing protection to Palestinian refugees and IDPs is of crucial importance in the face ongoing Israeli attempts to dismantle the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and to erase the Palestinian refugee issue altogether. Observing that, so long as Israel, as the state that is responsible for the displacement of refugees, is unwilling or unable to ensure that Palestinians enjoy their sanctioned rights, the international community is bound to ensure legal, humanitarian and physical protection. It is not charity, it is an obligation.
Download the PDF version of this Working Paper.
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About the series:
This Series of Working Papers on forced population transfer is intended to encourage debate, and to stimulate discussion and critical comment. Together, and drawing upon desk and field-based research, these papers will identify and explore the key components of Israel’s policies and mechanisms of forcible transfer of the Palestinian population. Specifically, BADIL has identified the following components:
Denial of Residency
Discriminatory Zoning and Planning
Installment of a Permit Regime
Suppression of Resistance
Denial of Access to Natural Resources and Services
Land Confiscation and Denial of Use
- Denial of Reparations (return/repatriation, property restitution, compensation and non-repetition of violations)
- Institutionalized Discrimination and Segregation

- Non-state actions (with the implicit consent of the Israeli state)