The Palestinian Refugees: Rights, Reality & Return


The status and fate of the over six million Palestinian refugees, scattered throughout the world today as a result of Israel’s creation in 1948, persists as one of the most politically contested refugee crises of our time. What rights do these refugees currently hold? What challenges and opportunities does international law present to the plight of Palestinian refugees? Can the right of return for Palestinians to return to their ancestral homeland be actualized and how do we envision the return given the fraught political forces at play in both Israel and international governing bodies?  

In this upcoming webinar, author and activist, Miko Peled invites the authors of the new book, Palestinian Refugees in International Law, Francesca P. Albanese and Lex Takkenberg, to share their research while providing a comprehensive analysis of the Palestinian refugee question in light of various areas of international law. The panel is rounded out by facilitator and activist, Umar al-Ghubari of Zochrot, an NGO based in Tel Aviv, founded by Isreali non-zionist Jewish activists, working towards aknowledging the Nakba and reconceptualization of the return.. The panel will provide a foundation in understanding the rights of Palestinian refugees as dictated by international law, examine the role of Israel and the international community within this context, and envision what return looks like.  

November 18, 2020 @ 11 AM EST

About the Panel:

Francesca P. Albanese is a Research Affiliate for the Study of International Migration (ISIM), Georgetown University and Visiting Scholar, at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Studies Policies and International Affairs, American University of Beirut. She is an international lawyer specialized in human rights and refugee issues in the Arab world. She has 15 years of professional experience, working with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, European Union (electoral assistance), UN Development Programme, and NGOs (protection, human rights). Albanese received her LL.B (Hons.) at Pisa University, and her LL.M (Human Rights) at SOAS University.

Dr. Lex Takkenberg has worked with UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, from 1989 until late 2019 and is currently a freelance lecturer and consultant. He is the former Chief of the UNRWA Ethics Office. Prior to that, he held positions including UNRWA’s General Counsel, (agency-wide) Director of Operations, and (Deputy) Field Director in Gaza and Syria. Before joining UNRWA, he was the Legal Officer of the Dutch Refugee Council for six years. A law graduate from the University of Amsterdam, he obtained a Doctorate in International Law from the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Umar al-Ghubari is a professional groups facilitator, specializing in the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is also a lecturer on Palestinian history, Identity, Nakba and Return. Umar works for Zochrot, an NGO that formed in 2002 to promote acknowledgement and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba and the reconceptualization of the Return as the imperative redress of the Nakba. Zochrot is also well known for developing a mobile app called iNakba, which allows users to locate and learn about Palestinian localities destroyed during, and as a result of, the Nakba since 1948.Umar coordinates and guides “Nakba & Return Tours” at the Destroyed Palestinian localities inside Israel and produce booklets on their history and current situation.


Pitch in to support Zochrot’s fundraising campaign “48 hours for the acknowledgement of the Nakba of 1948”! We are aiming to raise 100,000$US (350,000ILS) by Tuesday 24th of November. This will allow us to expand our activities, be more independent and resilient and overall do even more to promote recognition of the Nakba and the right to return within Israeli society.  Please support Zochrot and donate today!

Learn about panelist, Umar al-Ghubari’s organization, Zochrot, an essential NGO working towards the reconceptualization of the return.

Listen to The Miko Peled Podcast: Episode 02 with Umar al Ghubari of Zochrot

Pick up Francesca Albanese and Lex Takkenberg’s book, Palestinian Refugees in International Law (Second Edition) through Oxford Press

Follow the Palestinian Refugees in International Law Facebook Page

Learn more about Francesca P. Albanese, International Lawyer, Researcher and Author

Learn more about Lex Takkenberg of UNRWA, former Chief of the Ethics Office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP)

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