On World Refugee Day: Palestinian Refugees lack protection and indicate how to ensure it
Who is responsible to provide protection to Palestinian refugees? The PLO? The host countries? UNRWA? What does International Protection mean in the first place? Would International Protection lead to Durable Solutions to the Palestinian ongoing displacement? To answer these questions and others, BADIL conducted a first-of-its-kind poll opinion and research on the perception of protection among Palestinian refugees. Addressing a sample of 3,600 respondents from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan and Lebanon, the Survey analyzes the finding against legal parameters set by international law. Preliminary results of the Survey include the refugees’ perceived tools to achieve durable solutions:
• When asked what would be their first preferred means to achieving a durable solution, “other forms of resistance” was the most popular response with 18.9%; [“other forms of resistance” would include all unmentioned options: political negotiations, international agencies, and popular/civil society activism]
• When asked what would be their second preferred means to achieving a durable solution, “UN Security Council sanctions on Israel” was the most popular response with 19.9%;
• When asked what would be their third preferred means to achieving a durable solution, “supporting the BDS movement” was the most popular response with 23.3%.
While these results reflect the 67 years failure of international community in enforcing the UN General Assembly 194 Resolution, they show lack of trust among Palestinians in the 23 years of the current politically-driven negotiation/peace process to bring about solutions to their predicament. Above all, these results show a certain distribution of preferences among Palestinian refugees for the continued struggle for liberation, starting from popular non-violent resistance manifested in the support for the BDS movement; to resorting to international bodies that with enough willpower can impose a solution on Israel; and finally resorting to “other forms of resistance”.
In addition to this research, the forthcoming 2013-2014 Survey of Palestinian Refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) presents up-to-date data on the demographic distribution of Palestinian refugees.