As the world marks International Day of the Indigenous Peoples some six million Palestinians including most Gazans are still displaced inside and outside Palestine and are scattered over the world in exile.
In 1948 hundreds of thousands of indigenous Palestinians were removed from their original towns and villages in the historic land of Palestine and were replaced by Jewish settlers.
Nowadays there are more than 1.3 million Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip alone making up most of the territory’s population. The majority of Palestinian refugees in Gaza are impoverished and rely on aid to survive.
According to the international law, refugees have the right to return to their homes of origin, receive real property restitution, and compensation for losses and damages. Indigenous Palestinians have been internally displaced four times since 1948 because of Israeli wars.
For over seven decades, Israel has continued to deny Palestinian refugees their right to return to their ancestral towns, villages and homes. The Palestinian refugee problem arose from a systematic policy of ethnic dispossession and elimination of the indigenous Palestinian population.
Palestinian refugees lack the most basic human rights and suffer from inadequate international protection and assistance. On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Palestinian refugees say they hold sacred the right of return to their original land.