PLO Official: “Israel is accountable for refugee problem”

PLO Executive Committee member and lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi Wednesday said Israel should be held accountable for creating and the continuation of the Palestinian refugee problem.

She said in a statement marking World Refugee Day that while the United Nations was 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, Israel and its supporters in the United States Congress are working to deny the Palestinian refugees their rights.

“Our refugees’ only hope of return is through international law and intervention to bring about a just solution,” she said.

The international community should “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,” said Ashrawi.

“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,” she stressed.

“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,” she said.

“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,” said Ashrawi.

“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 Ashrawi.

Source: WAFA News