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Michael Kagan; Restitution as a Remedy for Refugee Property Claims in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, University of Nevada, Scholarly Works





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This comprehensive article by Michael Kagan examines restitution as an autonomous human right for refugees displaced in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and assesses the implications of taking such a rights-based approach.

Kagan states that the refugees have a strong legal claim to restitution. In international law, compensation is relevant only when restitution is materially impossible or would be inadequate, or where a refugee chooses not to seek restitution. It appears that a great deal of lost refugee property inside Israel is essentially vacant, should still be available for restitution with little legal obstacle.

Restitution and return for Palestinians should be regarded as two distinct forms of reparation; Linking them too rigidly would actually violate the rights of refugees. At the end of his article, Kagan analyses how such conflicting rights may be measured and balanced. The resolution of such conflicts will depend in many cases on how much an eventual peace agreement places on actual return of the refugees. Concluding, Kagan pleads for a shift of focus from a governmental level to that of the individual rights of those affected by the conflict.

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