On the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights MPPM demands respect for the rights of the Palestinian people

On the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the Resolution which recognises the right of return of Palestinian refugees, MPPM calls for respect for the human and national rights of the Palestinian people and condemns those states which, through criminal complicity or ominous inertia, allow Israel to continue to violate their rights with impunity, starting with the most sacred—the right to

On 11 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 194 (III), which states that "the [Palestinian] refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours 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 and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities

Resolution 194 (III) was adopted the day after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which specifically states in article 13.2 that "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

However, in these 75 years, not only has the right of return of the Palestinian refugees of 1948 not been realised, but the colonial and apartheid policy of the State of Israel has created successive new waves of refugees and displaced persons.

The "Palestinian refugees [of 1948]" are defined as those whose habitual place of residence between 1 June 1946 and 15 May 1948 was Palestine, and who lost both their home and their means of subsistence as a result of the 1948 conflict.  In addition, there are refugees from the 1967 war and internally displaced persons—people who were forced to leave their habitual residences but did not cross international borders. According to international law and the principle of family unity, the children of refugees and their descendants are also considered refugees.

At the end of 2021, BADIL (Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights) counted 9.17 million Palestinian refugees and displaced people, which corresponds to two thirds of the total Palestinian population worldwide.  Among them are around 8.36 million refugees and 812,000 internally displaced persons.

These figures do not yet take into account the consequences of the ongoing genocidal aggression against the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip, where, by 7 December 2023, the World Health Organisation recorded 1.9 million displaced persons (85% of the population), in addition to 17,487 people killed (70% women and children), 46,480 people injured, and an undetermined number of people missing or buried in the

However, the brutality of these figures cannot hide the campaign of aggression and expulsion taking place in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where, between 7 October and 7 December, the WHO recorded 266 dead, 3250 injured and 1014 forcibly displaced, in a context of settler violence, discriminatory building regulations in Area C and East Jerusalem, and punitive demolitions.

Nor can the numbers make us forget that behind them are men, women, and children who have been denied the right to live in freedom on the land of their ancestors, or, quite simply, the right to live.

Peace in the Middle East and a solution to the Palestinian question necessarily require a solution that respects the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to a free and independent homeland, including the right of refugees to return.

MPPM reaffirms its solidarity with the Palestinian people and their inalienable right to resist the occupation until the victory of their just cause.
MPPM calls on all lovers of peace to show their active solidarity with the Palestinian people.

MPPM calls on Portuguese diplomacy, in the spirit of the Carnation Revolution, whose fiftieth anniversary is approaching, to actively work towards a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire, which includes the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and ensures all necessary humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

11 December 2023

The MPPM National Board

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