Unprecedented in international law? Certainly. Illegal? Perhaps. The idea that civilians should be allowed to return to their homes after conflict is not merely a basic human right, it is enshrined in: International law declares the basic human right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of the State. This right is declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). It is also found in the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) as a form of illegal discrimination if it is denied. Finally, this right is protected in times of war and military occupation wherein international law forbids both deportation of protected persons from their homelands, and also requires their return home be guaranteed following the end of fighting, if they fled their homes when combat came nearby, or if they were driven away by military forces (Geneva Conventions IV (1949) and Geneva Conventions Protocols I (1977)). The Hague Regulations of 1907, which focuses on military forces themselves, rather than civilians, guarantees the right to return home at the end of fighting for POW's. Now, tell me, as an educated, non-religious person, why I should assume that the Jewish right of return claimed on more than 2000 years of refugee status, is more important than a Palestinian one.
Surfer seriously injured in Australian shark attack (AP)