Al Jazeera's release this week of the so-called 'Palestine papers' – a collection of secret documents from the past decade of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations – revealed a US suggestion made in 2008 that Palestinian refugees be permanently resettled in Chile and Argentina.
The disclosure was a slap in the face to the many Palestinian refugees and descendants – the UN Relief and Works Agency estimates at least 4.7 million worldwide – hoping to eventually return to what is now Israel.
But it wasn't the first time the idea of permanent resettlement has been floated. Here are some of the countries proposed as permanent resettlement locations.
Chile is one of the two countries that the US floated in 2008 as a potential permanent resettlement location, according to the documents Al Jazeera obtained. There are about 200,000 predominantly Christian Palestinian refugees in the South American country today (the largest Palestinian population in Latin America), according to The Guardian – but the prospect of permanent resettlement there is not one Palestinians welcome.
"It's completely unacceptable. It contradicts our inalienable right to return to our own homeland," Daniel Jadue, vice president of Chile's Palestine Federation, told The Guardian. "That right cannot be renounced. To make this suggestion shows the mediation was not honest. It was clearly tilted in favour of Israel. This is extremely grave."
Chile officially recognized a Palestinian state earlier this month, continuing a trend of Latin American countries recognizing Palestinian sovereignty.
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