The Trump administration will announce in the coming days its rejection of the Palestinians’ demand for the so-called “right of return” to Israel for the thousands of refugees still living and their millions of descendants, a report from the Hadashot Channel said.

The United States will announce a policy that “in its view essentially revokes the `right of return'”, the report states.

The so-called “right of return” is one of the key demands in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Historians estimate that Palestinian refugees during the conflict with Israel in the late 1940s numbered about 700,000 souls. The Palestinians claim that there are now at least five million descendants of the original refugees and that they would have the “right to return” to what is now Israel. The so-called ”right of return” is nowhere to be found in any international legislation.

Moreover, Israel rejects this demand, pointing out that a massive influx of millions of Palestinians would alter the demographic balance and thus destroy the character of the State, which is made up of a Jewish majority.

President Donald Trump and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas meet, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
President Donald Trump and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas meet, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

According to the Hadashot Channel, in early September, the US will announce its new policy on the issue. Washington will release a report indicating that only half a million Palestinians should legitimately be considered refugees (as in all other similar cases around the world).

 At the same time, Washington will repudiate the UN designation that millions of descendants of the original refugees should also be considered refugees. This definition is for Palestinians only and is the basis on which UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) can continue its activities.