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UN must pressure Israel on Palestinians right to return: PLO

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Palestinian woman walks past a poster depicting a key symbolizing the keys to houses left by Palestinians in 1948, in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 11, 2016, a few days ahead of the 68th anniversary of the Nakba Day. ©AFP

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has called on the UN to implement a resolution adopted in 1948 giving Palestinian refugees the right to return to the occupied territories as they are gearing up to commemorate the 68th anniversary of Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe).

PLO's legislative body, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), said in a statement released on Saturday that all refugees must be entitled to the right to come back to their homes as stipulated in the General Assembly Resolution 194, emphasizing that the right is non-negotiable and can never be compromised.

It also censured the crimes and atrocities perpetrated by the Tel Aviv regime against Palestinians, making reference to the extra-judicial killings and torture of Palestinian prisoners as Israel’s consistent hegemonic policy.

Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate Nakba Day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland by Israelis in 1948.

Palestinians gather at the site of the former village of al-Tira in northern Israel on May 14, 2016 to commemorate the 68th anniversary of Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe).

More than 760,000 Palestinians - now estimated to number nearly five million with their descendants - were driven out of their homes on May 14, 1948.

On Saturday, hundreds of Palestinians staged a “March of Return” in the northern Israeli port city of Haifa toward the site of a Palestinian village, which Israeli military forces razed in 1948.

Arab members of the Israeli Knesset (parliament), activists and local Palestinians made their way to the village of al-Tira, where dozens of Palestinians were slaughtered by Israeli troopers and a large number of houses completely destroyed. Only a few buildings remain in the area, which are either vacant or occupied by illegal Israeli settlers.

Palestinian demonstrators throw stones towards Israeli forces during clashes following a demonstration to mark the 67th anniversary of the “Nakba” on May 16, 2015 next to Hawara checkpoint, south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. ©AFP

Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite United Nations resolutions and international law that uphold their right to return to their homelands.

Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev has said that all cultural and sports facilities across the occupied lands, including Arabic institutions, must raise the Israeli flag on Nakba Day.

The Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Regev had instructed the ministry’s Director General Yossi Sharabi to develop an initiative aimed at the action. Her proposal needs to be debated and approved by the Knesset.

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