"According To International Law, There Are No Palestinian Refugees"
'Much has been written and said about the Palestinian refugee problem, and much blame has been cast at Israel for not allowing those “refugees” to “return” to their old homes in Israel. However, in the context of Palestinian Arabs,“refugee” is a propaganda term with no basis in law or fact. According to international law, there are no Palestinian refugees.
"Refugee" is defined by the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, adopted in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations. "A refugee, according to the Convention, is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion." (Introductory note by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.)
With regard to Palestinian Arabs who, in 1948-1949, left their homes in areas that became the State of Israel, there are two crucial elements in the definition of refugee: (a) "country of origin", with emphasis on the word "country", and (b) "fear of being persecuted".