Support and information for people affected by the crisis in Palestine - Refugee Council

Support and information for people affected by the crisis in Palestine

A summary of the most recent information from a range of sources to help people affected by the crisis in Palestine. This page will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.

You or your loved ones want to leave Palestine

The UK Government is currently not evacuating anyone from inside Gaza.

This page contains up-to-date information from the UK Government on the current travel advice regarding Palestine. The Government have stated they are not able to support individuals applying for entry or exit permits for Gaza. See this travel advice document for entering the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

In the West Bank and East Jeruslam, the Government have stated that due to restrictions on travel, the ability of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to provide consular assistance may be limited. The FCDO recommends all British nationals in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to register their presence.

If you are in the UK and concerned about a friend or family member who is in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the FCDO advises to call their hotline on +44176 766 7600.

If you are in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and need consular assistance, the Government has advised you to call:

  • +44 176 766 7600 (UK number)
  • +972 (0)3 725 1222 or
  • +972 (0)2 541 4100

British nationals of Palestinian origin

The Government has stated that if you are a British national of Palestinian origin (on the Palestinian Population Register or holding a Palestinian ID number), you will need a Palestinian passport or travel document in order to leave Gaza or the West Bank.

If you are a British national with a Palestinian name or place of birth but without a Palestinian ID number, the Government has stated you may face problems. The Government has stated that a number of British nationals of Palestinian origin or British nationals married to Palestinians have been refused entry to the country.

Dual nationals

The Government has stated that British-Palestinian dual nationals living in the West Bank and Gaza are allowed to travel abroad only via the Allenby and Rafah border crossings with Jordan and Egypt respectively, and return via the same route.

Numbers of such dual nationals permitted to enter and exit Gaza via Erez are very limited and include medical, humanitarian cases and aid workers. The Government has stated that the final decision on entry and exit permits via Erez rests with the Israeli authorities.

Travelling to Egypt from Gaza

The Rafah border crossing partially opened on 1 November. This was primarily to facilitate the evacuation of seriously wounded Palestinians and some foreign nationals. The UK Government’s travel advice page for the Occupied Palestinian Territories states that the crossing will continue to be open for controlled and time-limited periods to allow specific groups of foreign nationals, including British nationals, to cross.

The UK Government have confirmed that Egyptian and Israeli authorities determine who is permitted to cross, and when. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contact Embassies to let them know when their foreign nationals can cross. Should the Government receive notification from the Israeli and Egyptian authorities that individuals are permitted to cross, the Government have said they will notify those people individually.

The Government has said that movement to the Rafah crossing and beyond is at peoples own risk and should only be done if they judge it is safe to do so. It recommends checking their Egypt travel advice page and to register your presence to receive important updates, including information on support to leave the country.

You are unable to contact family in Palestine

If you are in the UK and concerned about a friend or family member who is in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the FCDO advises to call their hotline on +44176 766 7600.

The British Red Cross provides an Internal Family Tracing service. If your relatives are not answering normal communications such as telephone, email or mobile, the Red Cross may be able to help. Please contact your nearest British Red Cross office and tell them you would like to contact a family member.

You are from Palestine, living in the UK and have made an asylum claim

If you have been refused but your appeal has not been heard, you may wish to speak to your legal representative to ensure the latest information is heard by the judge.

If you are appeal rights exhausted and/or have been issued with removal directions, it is important that you seek legal advice. If you need advice or to get a new legal representative, these organisations can provide you with help to understand your options and access a legal representative. Ask if you qualify for free legal advice (legal aid) before paying for it.

If you are destitute you can contact our Infoline on 0808 196 7272 to access support services in your area.

You live in the UK and want to offer support

Along with other charities, we called on the UK Government to be ready to put in place emergency pathways for those seeking refuge from the conflict in Gaza. Read our briefing here.

We have also published an account from a Palestinian in the UK who volunteers for the Refugee Council speaking about the Gaza crisis.

You can help refugees rebuild shattered lives in safety here in the UK by donating online to the Refugee Council. Other charities we recommend include the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees’ Gaza Emergency Appeal and the Medical Aid for Palestinians’ Emergency Appeal.

We work with hundreds of volunteers to support refugees and people seeking asylum. If you are interested in volunteering with us, you can view our opportunities here.