Palestinian National Council: Right of return is non-negotiable, peace will only come when the refugees return to land occupied by “Zionist gangs” in 1948
Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida - May 15, 2016

 

Headline: "The [Palestinian] National Council: There is no security and there is no peace without the return of the refugees to their land – for the Nakba anniversary: The factions emphasize our people's right of return and its determination [to obtain] freedom and independence"

 

"The [Palestinian] National Council (i.e., the legislative body of the PLO) demanded of the UN to act to implement resolution 194, to enable the refugees to return to their land that was occupied by the Zionist gangs in 1948, and to put an end to the arrogance of the occupation and its frivolous opposition of the international community's will by leaving our people under occupation.

In a statement published for the 68th anniversary of our people's Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel), the National Council emphasized that it does not matter how much time passes, our people and its future generations will not renounce the right of return, as it is a sacred right, permanent and unchangeable. [It added that] nobody can renounce it or compromise on it, and that there will be peace, stability, and security in the region only when the refugees return to their land… The Fatah Movement emphasized the Palestinian refugees' right to return to their homeland, and said that it is a right like the right to life and freedom… Fatah demanded of Britain to recognize the historic right of our people to its homeland Palestine, because it was the [British] mandate state that laid the foundation for the establishment of Israel. Likewise, it [Fatah] demanded of it [Britain] that it recognize the State of Palestine in the borders of June 4 [1967] with Jerusalem as its capital, as a first stage and an expression of a sincere desire to make amends for its historic sin against our people."

 

UN resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the 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." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."