palestinian refugees and internally displaced palestinians represent the largest and longest standing case of displacement in the world today. the massive displacement of palestine by israel, which began in 1948, has made the overwhelming majority of palestinian people into refugees. there are about five million palestinians who are presently denied the right to return to their homes. most of them live in 58 camps scattered throughout the west bank, gaza strip, jordan, syria and lebanon. hundreds of thousands more are exiled in the americas, europe and australia. that none of them can return except by the expressed permission of israel is a flagrant violation of the universal declaration of human rights (udhr) since "everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." after six decades of persecution and untold suffering, it has become increasingly clear that the right of the dispersed palestinians to return to their homes can no longer be postponed or compromised.
with this aspiration in mind the organization was founded and registered in the united kingdom in 1996 during a crucial period in palestinian history when the formation of a settlement was taking shape and redressing of historical crimes were discussed. the various peace initiatives, especially the oslo accords, showed the criminal disregard for the rights of palestinian refugees who have now endured their suffering for over 60 years. it failed to recognize or guarantee the basic rights of the palestinian refugees. this somber realization highlighted the need to raise the profile of the most enduring problem in this crisis, the refugees, through a detailed study of their plight from various points of view to inform various international stakeholders and hopeful shape better informed decision making
the centers identity
although our centre is palestinian in origin, it is not affiliated to any particular organization or party. we work on the assumption that the plight of the palestinians is not just a national liberation movement but in essence is about the core values and ideals that are at the centre of any human civilization and international law. this universal dimension from which permeates our work allows for greater collaboration with civil society from different ethnicity, cultures and religions. our organization fully respects the political beliefs and persuasion of anyone who participates in a personal capacity in its activities. because the palestinian people have never exercised or enjoyed the right to live in their homeland in peace, freedom and dignity, our centre remains resolutely committed to the mobilization of palestinians and non palestinians to secure the restoration of all the usurped palestinian national rights.
the palestinian return centre depends primarily on donations from people who believe in its cause. it accepts contributions in money and kind from any source as long as there are no strings or conditions attached. hence it urges all interested persons and investors to support its efforts.
the founders of the prc believe that the refugee issue is much larger than the efforts of any single institution, organization or grouping. for this reason the centre wishes to share the responsibility of explaining this issue to the various stakeholders and work towards directing the final return of the refugees to palestine.
accordingly, our work compliments and does not contradict any other effort aimed at realizing palestinian national aspirations. the prc will, therefore, coordinate with and place all its resources at the disposal of any individual or group working for the advancement of our cause