GAZA, — Hundreds of Palestinians marched on Saturday to back their delegation at Middle East peace talks and urge no compromise on key issues including Jerusalem and the return of refugees.
"Return is a holy right for refugees," chanted refugees in the streets of Gaza's Jabaliya refugee camp.
Members of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah "Shabiba" youth group handed out leaflets in Gaza City calling for a firm stand.
"There is no way to make concessions on our right to spread sovereignty over the land of Palestine, to the borders occupied in 1967, and with Jerusalem as our capital," one leaflet said.
About 700,000 Palestinians fled, or were forced to leave their villages, during the 1948 war when Israel was created. Their numbers have swollen to about four million in camps in the West Bank, Gaza and Arab states.
Palestinians want Israel to implement UN resolution 194 which says the refugees have the right to return to their original homes and calls for compensation for those who do not want to return.
Israel says it will not assume responsibility for moving the refugees but has said it will take part in a fund that will compensate them.
In the West Bank Town of Tulkarm, hundreds of Palestinians declared their support for Arafat and his intention to establish an independent state by the year's end—with or without a deal with Israel.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are in the midst of talks at Camp David near Washington, aimed at securing a final peace before a September 13 deadline that will settle thorny issues including the fate of Jerusalem.
Palestinians demand Arab East Jerusalem, as their capital. Israel regards Jerusalem as its "indivisible and eternal" capital.