Continuing through 1948 and 1967 when Israel occupied the remainder of the territory of historic Palestine. The West Bank and Gaza Strip to this day still see confiscation of Palestinian land of which began building Jewish settlements and expelling Palestinians and cancelling their residency rights. The actions of the Israel’s saw the violation of human rights contravening the fourth Geneva convention, which governs how occupied territory is to be administered prior to its return to to its rightful owner.
Gaza saw more than a million Palestinians, three quarters of them refugees, share a space of 360sq.km with six thousand Israeli settlers, to whom the Israeli goverment have given control to 40% of the land area. In the West Bank 5,637sq.km, 1.5million refuges have access to less than a third of the land area the remainder of which Jewish settlers and Israeli military control.
The possibilities of returning refugees to their rightful homes is now impossible as Israeli government and it’s supporters claim the lack of available space in the country. However this is un true; between 1989 and 1997, Israel absorbed some 800,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia who could demonstrate that they had at least one Jewish grandparent. According to Israeli law of return 1950, any Jew anywhere in the world can claim citizenship and full political and residency rights in Israel.
An absurdity and inhumanity has existed in which a system grants the right for people with no emotional and experiential connection with Palestine to live there, denying that same right to refugees who’s parents and ancestors originated location as well as place birth all factors that back up an injustice that will only lead to more conflict, instability and anger in the middle east.
Israelis argue to this day that destruction within their community would begin when none – Jews overwhelm their streets, influencing forms of xenophobia as the majority of Palestinians don’t desire to break up communities be they jewish or Arab. Doctor Abu Sitta (image below) Palestinian academic conducted research registering the current refugee population living in the Gaza Strip showing that if they were to return to their original areas of residence the balance of Jewish to Arab living would alter by only 6%.
Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinan centre for human rights international herald tribune 09/05/1999.
“we still dream of a world in which ethnic cleansing is not permitted to stand. We have watched, rapt with the wonder, as the United States have moved against the ethnic cleansing by the Serbs rather than providing Slobodan Milosevic’s government with 84 billion dollars – as it has given Israel over the last 50 years to finish off idler for generation in refugee camps, the United States and Europe seems to recognise the urgency of returning these desperate people to their rightful homes. In a world seemingly Gone mad with ethnic and religious bloodlust, the same perverse spending we endure is thankful not reoccurring. We too, hope that one day all our Palestine refugees may return to their homes to the land they have tilled for generations.”