International Law and the Palestinian Right of Return to the State of Israel

  • Yaffa Zilbershats
Part of the Beiträge zum ausländischen öffentlichen Recht und Völkerrecht book series (BEITRÄGE, volume 189)

IV. Conclusion

Return, in the context of repatriation, is not a legal right according to the present development of international law. It is not enshrined in general human rights law, the law of nationality, the law of refugees or humanitarian law. Accordingly, Palestinians cannot speak of a “right” to return based on international law.

Palestinians can neither base a right to repatriate on international law documents which deal specifically with the Palestinian problem. These documents are General Assembly or Security Council Resolutions which are not binding legal sources, but merely offer recommendations. The content of the resolutions is controversial and they offer alternative solutions to repatriation, such as resettlement and a “just solution.”

Any negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians should take into consideration that repatriation of Palestinians to the State of Israel is not imposed upon Israel by international law.


Universal Declaration Gaza Strip Geneva Convention Security Council Resolution Habitual Residence 
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Copyright information

© Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaffa Zilbershats
    • 1
  1. 1.Bar-Ilan UniversityIsrael

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