Palestinian refugees, like all refugees worldwide, have an internationally recognised right to return to their homes. For Palestinians, this was specifically articulated by UN Resolution 194.
On 11th December, 1948, the UN stated:
“refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”
Since 1948, the UN has consistently enshrined the rights of Palestinians in multiple resolutions, declaring the right to return and the right to self-determination to be inalienable.
Acceptance of UN resolution 194, and adherence to the UN charter, were conditions for Israel´s admittance to the United Nations. Despite this commitment, Israel has consistently denied the rights of Palestinians, has prohibited them from returning home, and has expropriated their property.
Today there are approximately 7 million Palestinian refugees; it is the largest and longest-standing case of displaced persons in the world today. Many have been displaced multiple times, and to this day have no security.
Around 1.2 million Palestinian refugees continue to live in camps in the West Bank, in cramped living conditions with limited resources, and inadequate basic infrastructure.
Salah Ajarma from the Lajee Centre at Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem on what the Right of Return means for him.
There will be no peace without justice. There will be no justice for Palestine without justice for refugees.