Posted 8 years ago on March 14, 2012, 3:25 p.m. EST by fiftyfourforty
from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Article 11 - Palestinian Refugees
The main Article of Resolution 194, for the purpose of this article, is Article 11 which deals with the return of refugees.
Article 11 of the resolution reads:
(The General Assembly) Resolves that the 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 in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.
Supporters of the right of return assert it partly based on the following sources:
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. -Article 13(2), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 1948).
The Geneva Conventions of 1949.
The General Assembly, Having considered further the situation in Palestine ... Resolves 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 and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible." -UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (11 December 1948)
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3236 which "reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return".
Resolution 242 from the UN affirms the necessity for "achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem."
Supporters of the Palestinian right of return maintain that "the right of return for the 1948 Palestinian refugees still exists according to international law. It exists despite the language of the Oslo agreements, insufficient as they are in this regard, and despite the position of the current Israeli government. Palestinian refugees should be free to seek their right to repatriation, regardless of what the PLO acquiesces to, so long as UN Resolution 194 remains in force".
No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country. -Article 12, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (23 March 1976).
According to Akram although the status of Palestinian nationals/citizens after the creation of the State of Israel has been much debated, established principles of state succession, human rights and humanitarian law confirm that the denationalization of Palestinians was illegal and that they retain the right to return to their places of origin.
The author states that denationalization of Palestinians was illegal, because when denationalization is based on race or ethnic origin, it is a violation of the general principles of nondiscrimination in customary international law, as well as of Articles 1 and 16 of the ICCPR, 999 UNTS 173, 19 December 1966, and Article 5.d.ii of the CERD, 660 UNTS 221, 7 March 1966. According to Akram, humanitarian law is breached because its principles prohibit transferring civilian populations under the control of an occupier and require return of those expelled. The four Geneva Conventions of 1949, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, have explicit provisions affirming the right of return to persons forced from their homes by hostilities. For example the "Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva IV) of 1949," 75 UNTS 31, 12 August 1949.
Akram states that since 1948, the principles of the internationally binding right of return have been strengthened by their inclusion in numerous treaties, many of which bind Israel as a signatory. The right of return is expressly recognized in most international human rights instruments, including, Article 13.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); Article 12.4 of the ICCPR; Article 5.d.ii of the CERD, 7 March 1966; Article VIII of the American Declaration of the Rights of Man, Organization of American States (OAS), Res. XXX, OAS Official Records, OEA ser. L/w/I.4 (1965), Article 22.5 of the American Convention on Human Rights, 1144 UNTS 123, 22 November 1969; Article 12.2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, 1981, 21 ILM 59, 1982; and Article 3.2 of Protocol 4 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, 213 UNTS 221, 1950.
Akram claims that after 1969, the UN General Assembly, partly in response to new Arab and PLO priorities, shifted its perspective to acknowledge the Palestinians as a people having rights under the UN charter (see, for example, the first paragraph of UNGA Res. 2535B of 10 December 1969, UN GAOR, 24th Sess., Supp. No. 30 at 25, UN Doc. A/8730 (1970). The author considers that recognition of the Palestinians' juridical status has been affirmed by all subsequent UN resolutions on the subject (see, for example, UNGA Res. 2672C, UN GAOR, 25th Sess., Supp. No. 28 at 36, UN Doc. A/8028; UNGA Res. 3210, UN GAOR, 24th Sess., Supp. No. 30 at 25, UN Doc. A/8730, 1970; UNGA Res. 3236, UN GAOR, 29th Sess., Supp. No. 31 at 4, UN Doc. A/9631).
Many Palestinians argue that they have an inherent right of return to land which they or their ancestors had owned or resided in previous to the establishment of the state of Israel, and that they must therefore be given full Israeli citizenship under the terms of any future peace agreement. They question the legality of Israeli control over these lands, and point out the necessity of said lands for their proper livelihood. UN General Assembly Resolution 194 supports this argument, and resolved that Israel should permit "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors" to do so. Israel agreed under the terms of its admittance into the UN to abide by the terms of this resolution. Therefore, some have made the case that Israel is bound under international law to accept a full Palestinian right of return. On March 15, 2000, a group of 100 prominent Palestinians from around the world expressed their opinion that the right of return is individual, rather than collective, and that it cannot therefore be reduced or forfeited by any representation on behalf of the Palestinians in any agreement or treaty. They argued that the right to property "cannot be extinguished by new sovereignty or occupation and does not have a statute of limitation," and asserted that "it is according to this principle that the European Jews claimed successfully the restitution of their lost property in World War II."