The statement of the Palestinian Delegation at the first meeting of the Refugee Working Group (RWG) held in Ottawa, Canada on May 13, 1992 states, “The Palestinian refugees are all those Palestinians (and their descendants) who were expelled or forced to leave their homes between November 1947 (Partition Plan) and January 1949 (Rhodes Armistice Agreements), from the territory controlled by Israel on that latter date.
This definition does not only apply to camp-dwellers, and certainly not only to those recognized refugees who enjoyed formal registration by UNRWA, since the latter never exercised jurisdiction over more than a segment of the total refugee population.
It also includes the residents of “border villages” in the West Bank, who lost their agricultural lands in the war of 1948, and therefore the source of their livelihood, but remained in their villages. It includes residents of Gaza Strip refugee camps who were either relocated in the Rafah side of the Egyptian boundary, or who found themselves separated from their families and kin as result of border demarcation after the Camp David Agreement between Israel and Egypt. It finally includes Palestinian Bedouins who were forcibly removed from their grazing lands within the State of Israel, as well as those who were induced to abandon the West Bank and to relocate in Jordan.
These categories share the hardships and fate of most refugees who fall in the first categories. At the core of their status is land alienation and the denial of return to their country”. (Emphasis added.)