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International law does not recognize the right of the Palestinian refugees and their descendents to return to their homes. A methodical examination of the laws pertaining to refugees has found the there is no basis for Palestinian claims. Indeed, the opposite is true: at the time when the refugee problem was created in 1948, the trend was to separate warring sides and returning to Israel was not considered an option. The position against refugees returning was strongly reinforced by the 2010 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights which held that due to the time that had passed, Greek refugees who had been expelled from northern Cyprus in 1974 should not be allowed to return to their homes and expel the current residents. The European Court decided that a resolution to the Cyprus refugee problem must be found through a political resolution to the conflict, much as a resolution to the Palestinian refugee problem can only be resolved politically and in the framework of a Palestinian state.
The full text in German is on my Website and the English original on the site of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
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