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On 71st Nakba: PNC urges support for Palestinian right of return

May 15, 2019 3:05 P.M. (Updated: May 15, 2019 3:06 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Marking the 71st anniversary of Nakba or “catastrophe,” which coincides on May 15th, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the Palestinian parliament in exile, addressed the parliaments of the world and demanded support for the Palestinian people’s rights and return to their homeland they were forced out from in May 1948.

PNC addressed the regional and international parliamentary associations, foremost among them the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which includes 176 member parliaments, on the Nakba anniversary that befell the Palestinian people in 1948 by Zionists after dozens of massacres resulted in the killing of more than 15,000 Palestinians and the displacement of more than half of the Palestinian people.

PNC sent identical letters by its head, Saleem al-Zaanoun, to more than 11 Arab, Islamic, African, European, Latin and international parliamentary associations and federations in which he confirmed that “the catastrophic consequences of the Nakba are still ongoing, accompanied by attempts to revoke the right of self-determination for our people, and denying the right to return to homeland, and depriving the Palestinian people from an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Al-Zaanoun explained that this year’s anniversary coincided with the leaks of plans and proposals of the American so-called deal of the Century, “which goes beyond all relevant UN resolutions, particularly the revocation of the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes in accordance with Resolution 194, in addition to the cancelation of UNRWA, the witness on the tragedy of refugees, which was established by Resolution 302 of 1949.”

Al-Zaanoun also emphasized “the adherence to the inalienable Palestinian national rights, foremost of which is the right of return, the end of the Israeli occupation, the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, and the inadmissibility of turning the occupation into a normal situation, and the justification for its aggression, occupation and procedures which contradict with the principles, rules and provisions of international law, and successive resolutions of international legitimacy in this regard.”

Al-Zaanoun explained in the letters that “Israel, the occupying state, continues its crimes and occupation of our people through the legislation of the Knesset (Israeli parliament), and that it still considers itself above international law, refuses to implement the UN resolutions on the rights of our people, and practicing policy of imposing facts, especially settlements, on the occupied Palestinian territories.”

He called on the heads of the parliamentary associations and their members “to join efforts to overcome the injustice imposed on our people, support their struggle for freedom and return, and force the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, to stop legitimizing the occupation, its crimes and terrorizing our people.”

He also called upon the governments of the world, especially the European governments, “to support the Palestinian people and practically help them to get rid of the occupation, and to live in freedom and dignity in their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Al-Zaanoun reaffirmed that “we are the original owners of the country, despite the displacement of more than 800,000 of our people from their homeland and prevent them from returning to it, and despite the crimes of ethnic cleansing, during which the Zionist gangs committed more than 70 massacres, and destroyed more than 531 villages and cities in full. However our people are determined to stay in their land. Knowing that, by the end of 2018, the total number of Palestinian people in the world reached 13.1 million, indicating that the number of Palestinians has increased more than nine times since the1948 Nakba. More than half of them (6.48 million) live in historic Palestine, and out of them (1.57 million) live in the territories occupied in 1948.”

He warned that "the coming danger lies in Zionist ideology, which has helped ethnic cleansing since before 1948, and its work is still alive and ongoing, and it seems that time is working on behalf of the Israeli supporters of the transfer of the Palestinians and the recurrence of the Nakba, the Palestinian Holocaust, whereby they foster their strength in Israel day after day."

The letters concluded, “We, the Palestinian National Council, salute our people in the homeland and the Diaspora, who have demonstrated in the squares, parks and capitals of the world to express the commitment to their right to return to their homeland Palestine; a right that does not fall by aging, it’s an individual and collective right guaranteed by the resolutions of international legitimacy and international human rights instruments. PNC also paid tribute to our people in the homeland for their steadfastness in their land.”

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