New report on the Palestinian refugees by Thomas Hammarberg: “Justice Postponed”

The report published by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs is titled “Justice Postponed”. The link is below.

The report makes the point that there is an acute need for a political and rights-based solution of the Palestinian refugee crisis. The continued postponement of dealing with this challenge has great human costs and undermines the possibilities of resolving other aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The fate of the refugees is not a side issue, it is a major obstacle to the overall peace efforts, concludes Thomas Hammarberg in his analytical report.

Time has not healed the wounds and the current conditions for the refugees in exile or in the occupied territories are desperate. The situation has become even more precarious in recent time. Palestinian refugees fleeing from the war in Syria are badly treated wherever they manage to go. In Lebanon they are denied social and economic rights and suffer severe discrimination. In Gaza the Israeli blockade and military interventions have had disastrous consequences for the living conditions of people there.

At the same time the assistance to refugees from the United Nations has been crippled for financial reasons. The fear now is that the UNRWA programs on health care, education, jobs and emergency aid will have to be further reduced as the US contributions to the budget have been cut back dramatically.

The report describes the background to the present crisis, its human consequences, the failure to uphold humanitarian and human rights standards, the political positions of the parties and the failed attempts to promote a peaceful solution of this political and humanitarian disaster. It ends with a series of concrete recommendations on how to address the immediate humanitarian crisis and at the same time restart attempts for a genuine political solution.

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