During times of turmoil and upheaval in the Arab world, the political vulnerability of Palestinian refugee communities is exacerbated in myriad ways. Precedents were set in Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya and Iraq, and the Arab uprisings have been no exception. The wars first in Libya and later in Syria have now opened new chapters for the Palestinian refugee communities in both countries. This podium discussion asked, where were the Arab uprisings after two years of revolutions, wars and ongoing upheaval? How have Palestinian refugees been impacted by these uprisings? Today, with approximately five million refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Palestinian refugees comprise the world’s largest refugee population. They continue to be unable to exercise the right – provided for in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 – to return to their homes and lands in the state of Israel. Most continue to live in Arab states or under Israeli occupation, while a small minority are internally displaced within the state of Israel. What is the future now for Palestinian refugees in view of the uprisings and the Palestinians’ six-decade-old unresolved statelessness?
An ICI Berlin Discussion in collaboration with the Zentrum Moderner Orient
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