Thabit warns: Relinquishing right of return might be price for Palestinian state

[ 18/06/2011 – 11:03 AM ]

BEIRUT, (PIC)– The Beirut-based Thabit organization for the Palestinian refugees’ right of return warned Friday that the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to seek statehood with the UN risks relinquishing the Palestinian refugees’ right of return for good.

The statement came Friday after PA president Mahmoud Abbas called on European nations to recognize Palestine as a state, and ahead of the World Refugee Day on June 20.

“No state or authority or organization has the right to negotiate on or relinquish the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to the homes they were forcefully displaced from,” Thabit said. “[The right] cannot be substituted or relinquished by time.”

According to the Thabit, some 11 million Palestinians have spread across 132 states, with a large majority in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, in the largest and oldest diaspora in the world.

“The declaration of an alleged Palestinian state this year – whether or not it happens – only means two things: one is an end to the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization; and the second: a write-off of the refugees issue and right of return. The aspired state has no value without the Palestinian refugees’ return to their homes and property they lost after the 1948 Nakba.”

The statement said that the refugee issue is the “pivotal point of stability in the region”, saying the Mideast would never be peaceful until the refugees are returned to their homes.

The group accused the world community of double standards given that the refugees in Kosovo and Guatemala were returned to their homes in the 90s within a ten-year span.

The Palestinians as a people have rejected offers to be resettled abroad as an alternative solution.

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