JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia 

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday called on the international community to support the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands from which they were displaced in 1948.

This came in a statement by the organization, on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the Palestinian Day of Nakba which is annually marked on May 15.

The OIC stressed the Palestinian cause is a core issue, reiterating its “firm and absolute support for the Palestinian people in their just struggle to regain and exercise their inalienable national rights.”

It called on the international community to continue to provide full support to the Palestinian people in order to regain their rights, including the right of return.

Citing international legitimacy resolutions, the organization affirmed the necessity of “two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Palestinians use the term Nakba, meaning “catastrophe”, to refer to the 1948 expulsions by Zionist gangs in historical Palestine.

The Palestine-Israel conflict dates back to 1917 when the British government, in the now-famous Balfour Declaration, called for “the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.”

In 1948, the new state of Israel was declared on the majority of historical Palestine, after Palestinians were displaced from their homes to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and neighboring Arab countries.

Around 15,000 Palestinians were killed, some 800,000 displaced, and 531 Arab villages destroyed in attacks by armed Jewish groups at the time.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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