On 21 August, the Amsterdam District Court held that Palestinians who are forced to leave the Gaza strip due to the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza, cannot be regarded to have left voluntarity. The court found that they can therefore also not be expected to return. In legal terms: article 1(D) of the Refugee Convention does not apply to these group and they therefore enjoy the protection of article 1(A) of the Convention. This means that these people, Palestinians from Gaza, should in principle be considered as refugees under the Convention. The court did find, however, that the foregoing only applies if the refugees fell under the care of UNRWA. 

This is the first time that a Dutch court qualifies the situation in Gaza as a humanitairian crisis, and subsequently attaches legal consequences in terms of asylum law. The State Secretary for Justice can appeal this decision within four weeks. 

The full judgment of the court can be accessed here (in Dutch). 

This case was handled by Marq Wijngaarden

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Prakken d'Oliveira, formerly known as Böhler, is a law firm with expertise and experience in asylum and immigration law, European law, administrative law, international criminal law and human rights. Our lawyers provide advice and conduct procedures before the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), the Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD), the District- and Appeals courts, the Administrative Law Division of the Dutch Council of State, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), the Human Rights Treaty Bodies of the United Nations (UN), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and other international tribunals.