Israel, UNRWA, and the Palestinian refugee issue

Joel Peters, Orit Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Since the beginning of the Oslo process in 1993, the attention given by Israeli policy makers to each of the final status issues has significantly evolved. Of all the final status issues, the refugee issue is seen by Israel as the most threatening. It touches on a number of socio-political elements that embody deep-seated Israeli fears that are both past and future oriented. It remains an issue that is highly sensitive. Potential solutions are rarely discussed within the general public domain. This article discusses the evolution of Israeli thinking on the refugee issue over the past two decades. It addresses Israeli thinking and positions in three areas: the "right of return", the question of compensation, and the role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). It concludes by arguing that the refugee issues might be de-coupled from the immediate negotiations over the establishment of a Palestinian state and suggests a number of ways that Israel should address the refugee issue.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberhdp035
Pages (from-to)588-606
Number of pages19
JournalRefugee Survey Quarterly
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 26 Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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