UK Home Office grants asylum to Palestinian citizen of Israel

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Franck Magennis, of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team, represented the Appellant, instructed by Taher Gulamhussein of Riverway Law.

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A 24-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel is to be granted asylum by the Home Office on the basis that he has a well-founded fear of persecution if returned to Israel. The decision came less than 24 hours before a tribunal hearing at which the Home Office was to defend its original decision to refuse the claim. 

In documents filed with the immigration tribunal, ‘Hasan’, whose real identity cannot be disclosed for his own protection, claimed that the Israeli government maintains an 'apartheid' system of racial domination over its Palestinian citizens, whom it systematically oppresses. He had also provided evidence to the tribunal that he is at enhanced risk of persecution because of his Palestinian solidarity activism in the UK and his anti-Zionist political opinions. 

Hasan’s case is based in part on multiple reports by experts and NGOs published in recent years. His case also relies on the International Court of Justice's recent interim judgment in the case of South Africa v Israel, in which the Court referred to the openly genocidal rhetoric of Israel's most senior states people, including its President Isaac Herzog. 

The Home Office's decision to grant asylum could have widespread ramifications for other Palestinians who claim asylum in Britain and elsewhere. The case is based on the 1951 Refugee Convention, which is binding on all states, and the European Convention on Human Rights ('ECHR'), which binds 46 members states. In principle, Palestinians who claim asylum in other jurisdictions around the world can point to this concession by the UK Home Office in support of their own claims for protection from the Israeli government.

Press coverage in The Guardian.

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