Applicant vs State Secretary for Justice and Security (Staatssecretaris van Justitie en Veiligheid)
The applicant is a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who requested international protection in the Netherlands as he claimed to be in an unsafe situation. By decision of 6 March 2020, the State Secretary for Justice and Security rejected the application on the basis of Article 1(D) of the Refugee Convention. By decision of 21 August 2020, the court declared the appeal lodged by the applicant well-founded, annulled that decision and instructed the State Secretary to take a new decision on the application. The court considered that UNRWA is no longer able to provide living conditions in the Gaza Strip in accordance with its mission. The State Secretary appealed against the decision.
The Council of State held that the appeal is well-founded and that the State Secretary must take a new decision. The Council held that the State Secretary did not properly substantiate that UNRWA is able to provide living conditions in the Gaza Strip that are consistent with its mission, so that the ground for exclusion of Article 12 (1)(a) of the Qualification Directive applies to the third country national. The Council noted that the mission of UNRWA is to protect Palestinian refugees, but also to serve their well-being and development, thus encompasses more than protecting Palestinian refugees from treatment contrary to Article 3 of the ECHR. In the decision and at the hearing, the State Secretary did not provide any insight into the standard it uses to answer the question of the extent to which UNRWA is able to carry out its mission. The Council also noted that when taking a new decision, the State Secretary will have to take into account current developments in the Gaza Strip, including the recent resurgence of hostilities between Israel and Hamas and reports that the United States will resume some of its funding from UNRWA.
Country of Origin Information; Exclusion; Palestine;
Raad Van State (Council of State Official Website)
Netherlands,NL: Council of State [Afdeling Bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State]], Applicant vs State Secretary for Justice and Security (Staatssecretaris van Justitie en Veiligheid), 14/07/2021, ECLI:NL:RVS:2021:1550NL: The Council of State mandated the State Secretary to justify why it considers that UNRWA provides adequate protection to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip