So why, if all sides are calling for a two-state solution as the final outcome in Palestine-Israel, has 21 years of a “peace process” failed to achieve an agreement? This is the question Josh Ruebner posed to an audience recently at Drake University.
The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, where 1.7 million Palestinians live on 139 square miles. More than half of the population is constituted of refugees, who in 1948 fled or were expelled from their original homes in what is now Israel, to find themselves on an unfamiliar territory that was not originally their own.
Approximately 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and became refugees as a result of the 1948 war. Today there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees scattered around the world. This paper provides background information on the history of the Palestinian refugee issue and the politics of the right of return.
In the Palestinian Nakba of 1948, hundreds of Palestinian villages were depopulated and razed off the map by the Israeli forces, creating one of the worst refugee crises of the century.
Today, many of the sites no longer exist, but traces of the past can be seen at times across a deserted landscape—namely a cactus tree here, or ruins of a church or a mosque there.
Who we are
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.