Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman said in a recent speech that his country wouldn’t allow the return of around 5 million displaced Palestinians to the territories that are rightfully theirs.
Palestinian Refugees Denied Access to their Territories
The ultra-right Israeli official dismissed all possibility of his government to allow the world’s largest refugee population to return to the lands that Israel has been claiming since 1967. Lieberman also said that he is not open to any agreements that would give Palestinians back the lands that were assigned to them in 1949.
The Israeli Minister of Defense was blunt:
We will not agree to the return of a single refugee to within the ‘67 borders.
The issue is very important because this month marks the 50th anniversary of the mass displacement of around 60% of the Palestinian population because of war. While the international community agrees that they should be allowed to return, Israel has been occupying Palestinian territories illegally for decades.
Former President Barack Obama’s position on the contentious issue has been more neutral. He repeatedly stated that both states should agree on the borders of a two-state to end the decades-old conflict in the region. The former State Secretary agreed with that solution and refused to confirm the borders declared by Israel unilaterally.
Trump Doesn’t Want to Upset Israel
Trump, on the other hand, has been saying ever since the presidential campaign that the Obama administration’s position towards Israel was “unfair.” Also, he repeatedly voiced pro-Israel views, which likely prompted the country’s government to proceed with the illegal expansion across Palestinian territories.
Furthermore, his administration remains awkwardly silent on the refugee issue. Last week, Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to talk about the peace process. They failed to find common ground, and the return of Palestinian refugees was not mentioned in the discussion.
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