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Hamas urges Palestinian refugees to strengthen unity, says right to return ‘sacred, non-negotiable’

A Palestinian boy sits as people search the rubble of a home destroyed in overnight Israeli strikes in the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, on June 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says the Palestinian refugees' right to return is “sacred and non-negotiable,” calling for enabling the Palestinian people's rights to freedom, independence, and the end of the Israeli occupation.  

Hamas made the remarks in a statement on Thursday on the occasion of World Refugee Day, amid the Israeli regime’s continued genocidal acts and its brutal crimes against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.

The resistance group went on to say that Operation Al-Aqsa Storm has brought global attention back to the Palestinian refugee cause, highlighting its justice and legitimacy, and thwarting all attempts by the Israeli regime and its supporters to obscure it.

It also hailed the steadfastness of Palestinian refugees and their active role in rallying behind the resistance during Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, calling on Palestinian refugees, both inside and among the diaspora, to strengthen their unity in the face of the Israeli occupation's schemes and aggressive projects.  

“The epics written by the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and occupied al-Quds' camps are evidence of the deep-rootedness of Palestinian refugees in their land, their commitment to their rights, and their embrace of the Resistance until the occupation is defeated,” Hamas said.

The resistance movement further emphasized that the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes is a sacred and non-negotiable right that is passed down through generations, reiterating its absolute rejection of any solutions aimed at nullifying this legitimate right.

Hamas also expressed its rejection of all Israeli attempts, supported by the United States, to eliminate and obscure the role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), reaffirming the direct responsibility of the UN agency to continuously provide its services to all Palestinian refugees, especially in Gaza, amid Israel’s ongoing genocidal war against innocent civilians in the besieged enclave.

It also pointed out that refugee camps, both inside and outside occupied Palestine, are the most prominent witnesses to Nakba Day-- when" Israeli gangs" displaced more than 57% of Palestinians from their land -- and one of the biggest living witnesses to the Israeli regime’s crimes against Palestinians.

The Palestinian group further noted that the commemoration of World Refugee Day by the United Nations and countries worldwide amid Israel’s brutal war on Gaza places everyone before a humanitarian, legal, and moral responsibility to put an end to the continuous Israeli aggression against Palestinian refugees in the camps of Gaza, the West Bank, and occupied al-Quds.

It also called on the United Nations, the international community, all countries hosting Palestinian refugees, and all human rights and humanitarian organizations to fulfill their responsibilities in protecting the rights of Palestinian refugees, ensuring a free and dignified life for them, and supporting their steadfastness and struggle.

Israel waged its genocidal war on Gaza on October 7 last years after Hamas carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Israel has killed nearly 37,400 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza since that October day.

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