chapter  16
14 Pages

The Peace Process and the Palestinian Refugees: New Concepts and New Realities

The Palestinian refugee problem is by its nature a national question. The fact that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been expelled from their homes and homeland, that the State of Israel was established, and that the international community has been unable for the past 45 years to solve this problem on the humanitarian or personal level, reflects its national-political nature, represented by the denial of a homeland and a country for the Palestinian people, including the refugees. The humanitarian aspect of the problem consists of the difficulty of being a refugee, which has always been the human core of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, in the 61 refugee camps spread throughout the Arab states and in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, the Palestinian national identity has grown and developed since 1948; the cohesiveness of the Palestinian people in the Diaspora was consolidated and grew stronger in the face of attempts at forcing their integration and absorption into neighboring communities and attempts to liquidate the entire Palestinian issue.