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PLO official: Israel’s establishment was “the crime of the century,” the return of the 1948 refugees to their homes is a “holy historical and legal right”

Headline: “Al-Agha in a letter to the UN Secretary-General: The Nakba is the crime of the era”
       “PLO Executive Committee member and President of the [PLO] Supreme National Committee to Commemorate Nakba Day (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) Zakariya Al-Agha described the Nakba as ‘the crime of the century.’ Al-Agha said this yesterday [May 15, 2017], Nakba Day, in a letter he gave together with members of the Committee to Mark Nakba Day to UN Secretary-General António Guterres via Head of the UN Office in Gaza Gernot Sauer.
Al-Agha said in the letter that the painful consequences of the Nakba that befell our people continue to this day. This is so because the occupation government opposes the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes, despite the decisions published by the UN that order their return to their homes from which they were expelled in 1948 (i.e., UN Resolution 194, see note below)… Al-Agha emphasized that the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes from which they were expelled is a holy historical and legal right, and an individual right that is anchored in international law and the decisions of the international bodies.”

Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day on May 15, the day after Israeli Independence Day. On May 15, 1948, combined forces from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq joined Palestinian Arab forces in an attempt to eradicate the newly-established State of Israel. The Nakba (i.e. "the catastrophe) refers to the displacement of Palestinians that occurred as a result of this Arab war of aggression against Israel.

UN resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states 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." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."

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