74 Nordic J. Int'l L. 67 (2005)
The Nationality of Denationalized Palestinians

handle is hein.journals/nordic74 and id is 73 raw text is: Nordic Journal of International Law 74: 67-102, 2005.                    67
 2005 Koninklike Brill NV Printed in the Netherlands.
The Nationality of Denationalized Palestinians
VICTOR KATTAN*
Abstract. One in three refugees in the world today is Palestinian. The majority of these
refugees have no nationality because they were denationalised by Israel's Nationality
Law in 1952 after they had fled or been expelled from their homeland in 1948. Israel
has refused to allow the majority Palestinian refugees, being displaced in 1948, the
right to return to their homes in contravention of U.N. General Assembly Resolution
194 (III). Israel has also refused to allow the majority of Palestinians displaced in 1967
the right to return to their homes despite appeals from the International Committee of
the Red Cross and despite calls from the UN Security Council. Since then Israel has
manipulated the laws of occupation by transferring its civilian population into the ter-
ritory it occupies whilst subjecting the indigenous Palestinian population to military
law. In 2003, Israel enacted racially discriminatory legislation in the form of the
Nationality and Entrance into Israel Law which the U.N. Human Rights Committee has
specifically requested Israel revoke. This legislation restricts nationality and resi-
dency rights for Arabs resident in the Occupied Palestinian Territories whilst
specifically excluding Jewish settlers from its application. These are some examples
of the lengths to which the State of Israel is prepared to go - in order to maintain a
Jewish majority in the country - even if they violate international law. This paper will
examine whether the forced displacement and denationalization of Palestine's origi-
nal non-Jewish inhabitants - including an examination of Israel's Nationality and
Entrance into Israel Law (2003) - are compatible with the basic principles of interna-
tional law today.
1. Introduction
In 1948, the year of the Palestinian Nakbah,1 Hersch Lauterpacht wrote an arti-
cle entitled the Nationality of Denationalized Persons.2 His article was about
the former Jewish citizens of Germany denationalized by the National Socialist
* LL.B (Hons.) Brunel University and LL.M Leiden University is a member of Badil's
Global Legal Support Network. The U.N. Development Program ofAssistance to the Palestinian
People (PAPP) funded his research work at the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency
and Refugee Rights (<www.badil.org>) in Bethlehem from May-August 2003 and from
November-February 2004 where he carried out research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
and at Birzeit University. He has also carried out research at the Peace Palace in The Hague, at
the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
and at the Weiner Library in London.
Nakbah means catastrophe in Arabic.
2 Jewish Yearbook of International Law (1948) pp. 164-185.

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