Forced Population Transfer: The Case of Palestine - Working Paper No. 15 - Introduction

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The Introduction is the first Working Paper (No. 15). It considers the historical background of forced population transfer globally, before highlighting the contemporary provisions and mechanisms of international law which define and prohibit this practice. In addition, it charts the five major episodes of forcible displacement which have transformed the Palestinian community into the largest and longest-standing unresolved refugee case in the world today, number roughly 7.4 million people, before concluding with a summary of how the intention to displace Palestinians has manifested itself within Israeli policy and practice.

Yet, despite its urgency, the forced displacement of Palestinians rarely receives an appropriate response from the international community. While many individuals and organizations have already discussed the policies of forced population transfer, civil society lacks an overall analysis of the system of forced displacement that continues to oppress and disenfranchise Palestinians today.

As such, this paper sets the scene for a body of work which it is hoped will lend clarity to this often complex area, as well as sparking debate and critical comment amongst decision-makers, scholars, practitioners and other interested parties. Crucially, each paper will be advocacy-focused, promoting a rights-based approach to analyzing and addressing the root causes of the conflict and policies of forced population transfer in Palestine, as it is BADIL’s belief that no other approach can deliver a just and durable solution to the plight of the Palestinian people.