Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
September 14, 2008
For Immediate Release
According to several recent reports of an interview with the Ha’aretz newspaper (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1020471.html), Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas is quoted as indicating that he is willing to negotiate away the rights of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands of origin. This outrageous statement, which has not been denied to date, comes on the heels of US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s latest visit and attempt to squeeze a ‘peace agreement’ from both the PA and ‘Israel’.
In keeping with the brief scenario outlined in the 6th issue of Until Return http://www.al-awda.org/until-return/danger.html, Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, is calling on all its members, supporters, and all people of conscience to respond to the current increased attempts to ‘negotiate’ away the inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homes and lands of origin.
Please write to President Mahmoud Abbas c/o of the PLO Office in Washington, D.C. and The Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations
*President Mahmud Abbas’ statement as reported in the Ha’aretz interview is at complete variance with the Palestinian people’s inalienable, natural, legal, historical, individual and collective right to return to their homes and lands of origin, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Law and UN Resolutions 194 and 3236.
*According to international law, no agreement, negotiations or parties which purport to trade away the right to return or any other inalienable rights can have any legal basis and cannot bind or compel the Palestinian people to end the struggle for the fulfillment of their rights.
*Any attempt to abrogate the rights of Palestinian refugees would set a disastrous precedent in international human rights law. It would provide a clear signal that any invaders who expel civilians from their homes, steal their property, and prevent them from returning for long enough can expect to have their illegal territorial conquests blessed with international legitimacy.
*Implementation of the right to return as spelled out in UN resolutions is the core to a just resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
*Mr. Mahmoud Abbas should resign as president of the PA and chairman of the PLO forthwith. His statement as reported in the Ha’aretz, and which he has not denied to date, is outrageous and disregards the rights of 7.2 million Palestinians living in forced exile.
Send Letters to:
*PA President Mahmoud Abbas
c/o PLO Office in Washington, D.C.
1320 18th Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 974 6360
Fax: (202) 974 6278
Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations
115 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 288-8500
Fax: (212) 517-2377
Please cc your correspondence to: alerts[at]al-awda.org