PA official: Abbas is adhering to refugees’ right of return
Headline: "Abu Houli: Providing the refugees with a dignified life does not contradict the right of return"
"PLO Executive Committee member and Head of the [PLO] Department of Refugee Affairs Ahmad Abu Houli emphasized that strengthening the refugees' resolve and providing them with a dignified life in the refugee camps do not contradict the political right of return and compensation.
In his speech during the Summit for the Conclusion of the Refugee Camps Improvement Project yesterday [Sept. 16, 2019], held in Ramallah by the PLO Department of Refugee Affairs in partnership with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency JICA, Abu Houli said that improving the refugee camps and the reality in them strengthens the refugees’ resolve against the plots striving to eliminate their cause and revoke their legal right to return the houses from which they were expelled in 1948 according to what is stated in [UN] Resolution 194 (see note below –Ed.)…
Deputy [PA] Minister of Local Government Ahmed Ghneim also said that the policy that [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas is adhering is the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their land and the houses from which they were expelled in 1948, which is an indisputable right according to [UN] Resolution 194."
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."