Several members of the activists community and those working specifically in refugee rights confirmed Saturday the while the United Nations guarantees the rights of Palestinian refugees, numerous international, Arab, Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. agreements do not.

The Palestinians are also facing daily disasters with repeated Israeli invasions and attacks on the Gaza Strip and West Bank, members of dialogue session between Palestinians working on the issue and the media.

Journalist Ghazi Abu Kishek, Director of the Palestinian Media Association,  point out to the media that for 58 years Zionists have been undertaking the process of ethnic cleansing since 1948 by displacing the Palestinian people not only from what is now inside Israeli borders, but from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Through force and deception, Palestinians have been pushed into other countries such as , , and and also the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

He discussed the massacres against refugees in the Lebanese camps of Sabra and Shatila, and the forced migration to the prisons that the West Bank and Gaza Strip have become. Abu Kishek asked where the United Nations are and where European countries are, in particular which had a great role in creating this nightmare through the Balfour Declaration in 1916.

What is of grave importance says Abu Kishek, is that Palestinians are deprived of the freedoms and democracy the , , and Europe chant about. After the Palestinians democratically elected the Hamas political party in the Legislative Council elections, all of those countries cut off funding, while the U.S. is disallowing any of its citizens or businesses to associate with the democratically elected government.

The Right of Return Center’s Director and Cultural Affairs for Refugees, Yasser Al Badrsawi said, “The 58th year of the Palestinian catastrophe will come this year, with the most difficult circumstances upon the people. Many in the world try to take away the right of the Palestinians to fight for those rights, to live, yet instead stole their land while others stand back in encouragement.”

The current period, according to Badrsawi, has a different character than in the past, adding that “the Palestinian street is boiling and in need of expressing its anger.” He said that he is prepared for disastrous proceedings different than what has occurred in the past.

He said that much of the expression is coming through symbols of refugee status and folklore, such as the traditional Dabka dance groups that are springing up throughout Palestinian refugee camps. “Dabka is able to tell the story of the great misfortune that befell the refugee.” This will be part of a several day festival with both local and official sponsorship.

Badrsawi said that return remains in the Palestinian peoples’ memory, and that it is a possible dream. This hope, he said, “is like a culture and a food and a medicine.”

Despite Israeli attempts at “agreements” to dismiss the Right of Return, Badrsawi points out that it is an individual and collective right which cannot be negotiated away. “Private property does not vanish just because of aggression or occupation,” says Badrsawi. “The issue has not been dropped, nor will it be. We need our Palestinian National Authority to assure us that it will not be negligent by agreement to incomplete ‘solutions.’”

Regarding the new government’s attitude Badrsawi said that it has made strong statements demanding the rights of refugees, and hopes they were not just “campaign promises.”

Palestinian refugees are currently stuck on the Iraqi – Jordanian border, and in camps throughout the Middle East. In several of these camps refugees are not allowed to build, and not allowed to hold several professional positions. The camps started out as tents, first as necessity and then as a statement that they were not permanent. But still with no land to build on but up, Palestinian refugee camps, with their narrow alley-way streets and houses stacked upon houses, look and feel as if they have become permanent odes to the Catastrophe.