Book launch for the new book Palestinian Refugees in International Law by Lex Takkenberg and Francesca Albanese.
Lex Takkenberg (Former chief of the Ethics Office at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees)
Francesca Albanese (The Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM), Georgetown University)
The Palestinian refugee question, resulting from the events surrounding the creation of the state of Israel over seventy years ago, remains one of the largest, most protracted, and most politically fraught refugee questions of the post-WWII era. Numbering over seven million in the Middle East alone, Palestinian refugees’ status varies considerably according to the state or territory ‘hosting’ them, the UN agency assisting them and political circumstances surrounding the Question of Palestine. International law, while being crucial to the protection of these refugees, remains marginal in political discussions concerning their fate.
This new book, building on the seminal contribution of the first edition (1998), aims to bring order and logic into a matter which is politically fraught, discussing the legal status of Palestinian refugees in a historical and factual fashion, building on extensive research of international and national legal norms and systems, doctrine and jurisprudence alike. It offers a comprehensive and compelling analysis of various areas of international law (refugee law, human rights law, humanitarian law, the law relating to stateless persons, principles related to internally displaced persons, as well as notions of international criminal law), and probes their relevance to Palestinian refugees.
It so manages to be innovative in a field of study where much has been written in either general terms (discussing Palestinian refugees as part of the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict) or specific terms (discussing specific issues pertaining to Palestinian refugees e.g. which UN agency is responsible for them, their right of return and compensation, Palestinian in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Egypt), without any other manuscripts being able to offer the broad picture of Palestinian (refugees’) continuous dispersal and protection issues.
The new edition includes: a wealth of information concerning origins, crucial facts and legal tenets of the Palestinian refugee question; an updated analysis of the distinctive regime set up for them, made of a plurality of UN agencies (UNCCP, UNRWA and UNHCR); a rigorous analysis of current interpretations of Article 1D of the 1951 Refugee Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and the various definitions of Palestinian refugees; a detailed examination of specific rights of these refugees and a the protection regime they are afforded; an innovative framework for solutions, building on important development in the field of refugee law and practice and on a holistic rights-based approach.
This book makes for an indispensable reading to anyone willing to get a better understanding of the Palestinian refugee question and its resolution. Being so painstakingly researched, this book is meant to be, for many years to come, the ultimate reference about Palestinian refugees.