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Elections, Democracy and the Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees

25. January 2006

by Palestinian Committee for the Right of Return
Appeal to All Palestinians and Supporters of Democratic Rights
(Appeal Issued by the Palestinian Committee for the Right of Return – French section)

Elections, Democracy and the Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees

On January 25, 2006, elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council will take place. This Council was created by the Oslo Accords of 1993 with the purpose of establishing a Palestinian Authority.

According to these Oslo Accords – as per the will of the occupation force, that is, the state of Israel — only Palestinians living in the territories occupied since 1967 — Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem (an estimated 1.8 million people) will have the right to vote for the candidates of their choice in these elections.

Prior to the Oslo Accords and the creation of this Legislative Council, it was the Palestine Liberation Organisation, particularly the Palestinian National Council (the parliament in exile) that brought together the representatives of the Palestinian people, both in Palestine and abroad. These were the only sovereign bodies mandated to make decisions concerning the national liberation project of the Palestinian people.

Yet today millions of Palestinians are not only denied the right to participate in this election, thereby to exercise their democratic right to vote, they are deprived of their right to return to their homeland, which has been occupied and confiscated from them by laws adopted by the Knesset since 1948, when the colonial and racist state of Israel was created. In total there are 1.3 million Palestinians living in Israel, 2.6 million in Jordan, 350,000 in Lebanon, 450,000 in Syria, 300,000 in Egypt, 250,000 in Europe, and hundreds of thousands dispersed across the Americas, Australia and beyond.

The ongoing process of negotiations has denied us, as Palestinians, the right of return, just as it has denied us our legitimate democratic rights.

– We demand the implementation of our right to return to our homeland, as prescribed in international law.

– We demand the right to vote for our own representatives to the Palestinian National Council, the sovereign assembly of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is our sole and legitimate representative body.

We call upon all defenders of democratic rights, therefore of the right of return, to support this appeal.

Commitee for the Right of Return – French Section Email address:

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