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The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon do not support Fatah al-Islam nor are they involved in the fighting raging in Nahr el-Bared camp since 20 May 2007. They have, however, born the brunt of the conflict.
Since fighting began in Nahr el-Bared camp, dozens of civilians have been killed and 6,083 Palestinian refugee families (over 30,000 persons) have been internally displaced.
Nahr el-Bared camp has sustained extensive damages: thousands of refugee shelters have been demolished and water and sewage networks have been destroyed. The reconstruction of Nahr el-Bared should be in consultation with the residents of the camp and based on respect for their status and rights as Palestinian refugees.
This latest displacement highlights the vulnerability of Palestinian refugees in exile in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere and the forced multiple displacements of these stateless refugees. It also highlights the need to find a voluntary durable solution to the plight of Palestinian refugees, as enshrined in UN resolution 194 and international law.
Until a voluntary durable solution is found, we call on all actors to fulfil and protect the rights to housing, employment, education, freedom of movement and arbitrary detention of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere in exile.
Badil thus calls upon the Council to
1. Follow the situation of internally displaced Palestinian refugees in Lebanon in order to ensure that their rights are protected, including their right to return to their homes of origin and property restitution.
2. Commission a special study on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and the 60th commemoration of the Nakba in May 2008 on the obstacles to the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes of origin and property restitution.