New Jordanian prime minister wrote a 350 page thesis on how Jordan can make claims against Israel to accept Palestinian "right of return"
Palestinian refugees have a right to return to their homes of origin in Israel and to the West Bank. They also have a right to compensation. The two rights, as indicated throughout this thesis are complementary and not mutually exclusive. The right of return and right to compensation naturally apply to Jordanian nationals who are of Palestinian refugee origin from the period of 1947-1949 and its aftermath or the 1967 war and its aftermath and their descendants. This right of return is clearly established in the context United Nations Resolutions, the law of nationality, human rights law and humanitarian law. It is also implied in certain provisions of the Jordan-Israel Treaty of Peace. The right of compensation for Palestinian refugees, including ones who are Jordanian nationals, is also well established in international law.
Naturally, Jews who fled certain Arab countries and who were nationals of such countries in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict have the right to return to their homes of origin in such countries and have a right to compensation, especially when the circumstances of their flight are similar to the ones in which Palestinian refugees were forced to leave predominantly under coercion.
While the right of return of Palestinian refugees, including those who are Jordanian nationals, is solidly established in international law, it is not likely that all or even the majority of Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to what is today recognized Israeli territories. This is ascribed to the fact that there is general recognition that massive scale return of Palestinian refugees to Israel would in fact endanger and dilute the Jewish character of the State of Israel. It is unlikely, that any international tribunal would actually give effect to the right of return on a massive scale to Palestinian refugees to what is today recognized as Israeli territory.
Ultimately, the solution of the Palestinian refugee problem will predominantly be one that would allow the exercise of the right of return to a Palestinian State that emerges from the Peace Process when resumed subject to absorption capacity. Some refugees, in limited numbers, may be allowed to return to Israel.
The solution of the Problem of the overwhelming majority of Palestinian refugees who do not return to such a Palestinian state will most likely be through their settlement in countries in which they currently live or to third countries that are willing to resettle them. This would be coupled with paying compensation to those returning and non returning refugees.
Therefore, for realistic and practical purposes, Jordan would be advised to focus its claims to matters of compensation of its nationals of Palestinian refugee origin and compensation as a host country predominantly.Jordan should not wait until the Peace Process resumes before it initiates a process of negotiations with Israel and would indeed be better advised to delve into such a process without any further delay.
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