- Published on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:52
"Today, on World Refugee Day, the United Nations is asking the world to honor and to support the millions of men, women and children who have been driven from their homes and many from their homelands by violence," said the PLO Executive Committee Member and Palestinian lawmaker, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi.
she continued, " As the people with the largest population of refugees, we Palestinians welcome this annual moment of solidarity. Our refugees' only hope of return is through international law and intervention to bring about a just solution."
"Close to six million Palestinians have individual stories to tell, one for each of our refugees. And their collective narrative forms the basis for any resolution based on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194."
"We call on the Quartet and the whole international community to hold Israel accountable for the creation and continuation of the tragic refugee situation, and to demand that Israel abide by international law which calls for the right of return and reparations. Israel's failure to fulfill its obligations under the law is obstructing the prospects for peace and the possibility of sustaining stability in the region and beyond," stressed Dr. Ashrawi.
"Moreover, the international community must stand against attempts to distort the status of Palestinian refugees, as the US Senate Appropriations Committee is trying to do by attempting to re-define refugees by disputing the rights of descendants of those brutally expelled more than 60 years ago. This must be seen for what it is, a cynical and cruel manipulation of human suffering to relieve Israel of its moral and legal responsibility to the Palestinian people as outlined in the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees."
"Israel must not go unchallenged in its attempts to portray our people's loss as anything other than a violent mass expulsion. Whether under occupation or in exile, the Palestinian people deserve their freedom, dignity, self-determination, and a just conclusion of their plight," concluded Dr. Ashrawi.