Palestinian refugees

Authored by: Rex Brynen

The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415778626
eBook ISBN: 9780203079553
Adobe ISBN: 9781136160691


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There can be little doubt that the Palestinian refugee issue is one of the most central and politically sensitive dimensions of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. For Palestinians, shared experiences of forced displacement and involuntary exile have helped to shape the very core of their modern identity. Understandably, they have sought recognition and redress of these past wrongs. For Israelis, the refugee issue raises uncomfortable questions about the events that accompanied the establishment of their state. Moreover, Palestinian calls for the refugees’ “right of return” are seen by most Israelis as an existential threat to their country's very survival as a Jewish homeland.

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