Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Migration and Refugee Movements in the Middle East and North Africa

Publication Date



The topic of this paper is problematic due to the lack of shared understanding of its terms (refugees, migrants, law and Palestine). Research of such a topic, therefore, must be delimited as to prevent misunderstanding, misanalysis and misjudgement. The definition of one of these terms shall delimit and define the content of the others. Unless specified differently, in this paper “Palestine” refers to the territories known as the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt), covering what was called before 1967 as the West Bank (including East Jerusalem)1 and the Gaza Strip (for many Palestinians, this definition forms the territorial basis of a future Palestinian homeland). While the term “law” will refer to all legal norms enforced within Palestine, meaning all Palestinian Authority (PA) legislations, previously endorsed (Jordanian, Egyptian) laws and finally Israeli occupation “laws” as Israel is in complete control of borders, civil status register, issuing visas, permits of stay and the like. This research will not address international law or third states laws in terms of migration that may have an impact on Palestinian refugees and migrants. Although important, these laws go beyond the extension of this paper.

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