Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons - by Stephen Lendman
Established in 1998, the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights (BRC) "defend(s) and promote(s) the rights of Palestinian refugees and IDPs (to) advance (their) collective rights." In January 2010, BRC published a report titled, "Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, 2008 - 2009."
Its web site explains the problem:
-- Palestinian refugees and IDPs are "the largest and longest-standing case of forced displacement in the world today;"
-- in 2007, of a global 9.8 million Palestinians, about seven million are refugees and another 450,000 internally displaced;
-- they include 1948 Nakba victims, more from the 1967 Six Day War, new ones from continuous dispossessions for settlement expansions, and land seizures inside Israel;
-- many thousands were displaced from the Jordan Valley, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and within Israel to cleanse Arab neighborhoods for Jewish only development;
-- Palestinians in host countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Syria are also vulnerable to displacement; further, the 2003 Iraq war forced 34,000 Palestinian refugees to leave the country; and
-- over six decades after their 1948 displacement, Palestinian refugees and IDPs are still denied solutions and reparations for their rights under international law and UN resolutions.
Relevant International Law
Article 13 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
"(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."
Article 11 of UN Resolution 194 (1948) states:
"....refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors 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 the loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made by the Governments or authorities responsible."
The 1951 Refugee Convention defines who is a refugee, their status, rights, and legal obligations of states. Assistance is to include asylum, food, shelter, health, education, human rights, travel documents, and durable solutions, including repatriation, resettlement, and integration. The 1967 Protocol removed geographical and temporal restrictions.