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Title: The ‘Protection Gap’ and the Palestinian Refugees of Gaza Strip
Authors: Khalil, Asem
Keywords: Refugees - Palestine;Refugees - Legal status, laws, etc. - Palestine;United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Birzeit University, The Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies
Source: Khalil, Asem. "The ‘Protection Gap’ and the Palestinian Refugees of Gaza Strip." In: Gaza – Palestine: Out of the Margins, IALIIS-BZU, 2011, pp. 126-135.
Abstract: The concept of a ‘protection gap’ is often used by scholars interested in studying the legal status of Palestinian refugees in host countries. To say that such a gap exists for refugees in a host country means that international protection mechanisms are missing, and leaves refugees subject to domestic laws and policies. In this paper, I will first show why this protection gap came into existence, then suggest different mechanisms for protecting Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from the effects of the Israeli occupation. I will further make suggestions with regard to keeping the distinction clear between West Bank and the Gaza Strip when dealing with refugee protection. This distinction paves the way for my central proposition in this paper, that Gaza poses a challenge to international law and to the current international system. UNRWA in particular is pushed towards assuming a protection mandate, which it was originally deprived from assuming. This shift toward an expanded UNRWA mandate is inevitable, but it is not for that reason devoid of risks.
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