Plan for UK to host thousands of Gaza refugees drawn up by charities

Source: The Guardian

By Ben Quinn Political correspondent

A blueprint setting out how Britain could provide refuge to thousands of Palestinians from Gaza has been drawn up by a coalition of charities and groups.

Organisations including the Refugee Council, Safe Passage International, Doctors of the World, Helen Bamber Foundation and City of Sanctuary have raised concerns about the conflict worsening the Palestinian refugee crisis.

They are urging the UK government to introduce an emergency family reunion scheme modelled on the initiative for Ukrainians and carry out out a medical evacuation for people in need of specialist care.

Other actions being called for include the prioritisation of cases of Palestinians and Israelis already in the UK asylum system, along with facilitated travel for UK nationals and those with the right to enter the UK.

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said the UK must be ready to play a role in the refugee crisis.

“As the conflict worsens the number of Palestinian men, women and children displaced and those facing grave danger will only increase,” he said. “People who aren’t secure and safe in their homes need access to safety and the UK must be ready to play a role by implementing a package of emergency measures at short notice.”

Meetings are to be sought with the UK government about the proposals, which are set out in a briefing paper by the Refugee Council and supported by the other organisations. They build on approaches taken by the British government in response to the conflict in Afghanistan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in thousands taking refuge in Britain under resettlement schemes.

They also echo a call made last week by the veteran Labour peer, Alf Dubs, for a permanent scheme that the UK could turn to when emergency situations arise.

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