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PLO official: Right of return will not be compromised

May 13, 2011 4:21 P.M. (Updated: May 14, 2011 12:29 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes will not be compromised, PLO official Zakaria Al-Agha said Thursday.

Al-Agha, who heads the PLO refugees affairs department, said no one had the right to deny refugees the right to return, as enshrined in UN resolution 194 of 1948.

Despite issuing the resolution, the international community has not facilitated the return of Palestinians expelled in 1948, who have been scattered around the world for 63 years, Al-Agha noted.

He said a series of activities were planned to mark the Nakba, the expulsion of an estimated 700,000 Palestinians from their homes during the creation of the State of Israel, commemorated on Sunday.

This year's anniversary coincided with a joyful event -- the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo ending division between Palestinians, AL-Agha said.

Palestinians from all factions would commemorate Nakba together this year, and simultaneous events would be held in Ramallah and Gaza City. Only the Palestinian flag would fly to express the nation's unity on the right of refugees to return.

Palestinians in refugee camps in the diaspora will also hold activities to mark their expulsion.

Al-Agha said a petition signed by millions of Palestinian refugees around the world would be presented to the UN, demanding their right to return home.

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