A video for children aired on Palestinian Authority TV as part of annual commemorations of the “Nakba,” or catastrophe, of Israel’s founding, promises them that there will be a “return” to lands that are today part of Israel.
In the clip, an elderly hand is seen passing on old house keys to the hand of a child. A title declares: “From generation to generation, there is no alternative to the return.”
In the background a singer croons, “We shall return though time passes by and distances grow between us.”
Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are then seen, and a narrator says: “Our return is certain, and Jerusalem is the eternal capital of our state.”
The ad has been aired multiple times on official PA TV since May 10, and was translated by Palestinian Media Watch.
Israel has long insisted that the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees, as defined by the Palestinians, is a non-starter in peace negotiations. The UN categorizes as refugees not just those Palestinians who were displaced or expelled from their homes in 1947 and 1948, but also all of their descendants. No other refugee population is treated as such, and so the Palestinian refugee population increases each year, and is now in the millions, while the rest of the world’s decreases.
As a consequence, accepting the “right of return” would mean millions of Palestinians being allowed to enter Israel, ending Israel’s majority Jewish status.
Over the last six weeks, tens of thousands of Gazans, with the encouragement of the Hamas terror group that rules Gaza, have been undertaking weekly “March of Return” protests at the border. Some rioters have tried to damage and break the security fence and infiltrate Israel, while others have thrown petrol bombs and rocks, and burned tires.
Those clashes reached their most intense level yet on Monday, coinciding with the Jerusalem embassy opening, when Israeli forces killed more than 60 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.
Hamas admitted that 50 of the dead were its members. Islamic Jihad said three others were its members. Israel said that some of those killed were involved in planting explosives or firing on soldiers and that Hamas was using the border protests as cover to stage attacks.
Israeli leaders have long cited the Palestinian leadership’s unwillingness to genuinely accept the revived majority Jewish state of Israel alongside a first ever Palestinian state as the chief roadblock to peace.