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PA: No Peace Without Full 'Right of Return'

PA chief Mahmoud Abbas said that the "fate" of Arab refugees must be resolved if a peace treaty is to be achieved with Israel.
By David Lev
First Publish: 11/18/2013, 6:14 PM

Abbas and Hollande meet in Ramallah
Abbas and Hollande meet in Ramallah
Flash 90

At a joint press conference Monday with French President Francois Hollande, Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas said that the fate of what he said were 5 million Arab refugees must be resolved if a peace treaty is to be achieved with Israel. That must come in addition to the establishment of a PA state in all of Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem.

The official policy of the Palestinian Authority is to demand repatriation for the descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in 1948 to their original homes in Israel, thus flooding the Jewish state with Arab refugees and effectively erasing Israel from the map, replacing it with a “secular, democratic Palestine.”

In a law approved by the PA parliament in 2008, and signed into law by Abbas, the “right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and property, along with compensation for their suffering, is a holy cornerstone of their rights that cannot be negotiated away. There will be no consideration of negotiation on this issue, nor will there be a referendum on it,” the law says.

A separate PA law states that “it is forbidden for Palestinian refugees to leave their current domicile as a solution for the 'right of return.' Anyone who acts against this law will be seen as a traitor, and will be subject to the penalties that this crime entails.” The law of the language is similar to that of the law against selling land to Jews. PA Arabs who do so are considered “traitors,” and their penalty is death.

Abbas' calls come as the Israeli Knesset established an official body to advocate for the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, who were ethnically-cleansed during the 20th century.