Palestinian refugees sign “My Return” petition. Photo via: Al Jazeera.net
Four conferences which were slated to be held in the next coming days and weeks to announce the official launch of “My Return” international campaign across a range of European and American capital cities have been delayed after hundreds of new cases tested positive for the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure comes in line with the safety measures called for by the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent a further propagation of the deadly virus.
World Health Organization declared Wednesday that the coronavirus outbreak spreading around the globe can now be characterized as a pandemic. WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the WHO is "deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity" of the outbreak.
The list of canceled events includes a conference which was expected to be held in Brussels on March 14, another conference in Salvador scheduled for March 20, a conference in London scheduled at the end of this month, and another conference slated to take place in mid-April in New York City.
Alternative dates will be dependent on the upcoming developments regarding the spread of the pandemic.
If you wish to sign the petition click here: www.myreturn.net
“My Return” initiative is an international campaign launched by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in partnership with Palestinian and international human rights partners and NGOs in order to amass the largest possible number of signatures showing Palestinians’ unyielding commitment to their right of return to their homeland—a right guaranteed by International Law and relevant UN resolutions.
The campaign officially saw the day in Jordan, before it was launched in Lebanon and Turkey.
The campaign comes at a time when efforts have been intensified by Israel and its allies, most notably the US, to negate Palestinians’ refugee status and, as a result, rescind their right of return to their homeland and delegitimize any institution providing assistance to the refugees, such as UNRWA.
The right of return refers to the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland from which they have been expelled since 1948. It implies both first-generation refugees and their descendants, regardless of their place of birth or residence and their political, social, and economic condition.