Middle East - Refugees: Still Waiting

The Palestinian refugee issue is potentially the most explosive item on the agenda for the Middle East peace process. Whereas once it was the primary object of international attention and UN resolutions, since the Oslo Accords of 1993, the matter has been relegated to a sub-clause in Israeli-Palestinian bilateral negotiations. Left unresolved or marginalised, it could jeopardise the whole peace enterprise.

The World Today
5 minute READ

Rosemary Hollis

Former Director, Olive Tree Israeli-Palestinian Scholarship Programme, City, University of London

The fate of Palestinian refugees is too big a question to be dealt with solely in Israeli-Palestinian bilateral negotiations. The issue affects not only Israel and the nascent Palestinian state, but also the Palestinian refugees themselves and the various host countries, including Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

Yet, there has been minimal coordination and consultation between the Palestinian leadership and the governments of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, let alone between the Palestinian Authority (PA), established under Oslo, and the wider Palestinian refugee community.

Technically, it is not the PA but the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) that bears responsibility for reaching a deal with Israel, since it was the latter that signed the Oslo Accords.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.