Palestine: the legal dimension of migration (2007)

Migration law covers the regulation of entry, residence and settlement, border-crossing and departure, sanctions for the transgression of such rules, as well as the protection of migrants through the legal regulation of their rights, often proclaimed on the international level and sometimes incorporated in national law. The legislative position of the PA is anomalous on both counts. First, the regulation of migration implies the sovereign control of borders, which the PA does not currently exercise. Second, conformity with international standards on the status of migrants and refugees and citizenship issues, presumes accountability and statehood, which Palestine does not enjoy. In other words, the PA is not competent to sign treaties since it is not a sovereign authority with a legal character under international law, due to the absence of a state. Furthermore, the PA did not pass legislation or enforce decisions in these domains, because of the occupation. Despite this basic legal anomaly, under the Agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the PA exercises three limited forms of jurisdiction: i) territorial jurisdiction over parts of Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT); ii) personal jurisdiction over Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; and iii) functional jurisdiction in civil affairs, transferred to the Authority by the Israeli military and civil authorities. Within these limitations, the PA exercised legislative authority through the Council nominated by the Executive Committee of the PLO, and then by the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elected in 1996.

Khalil, Asem. Palestine: the Legal Dimension of Migration. In: Mediterranean Migration (2006-2007 report), edited by Philippe Fargues, pp.195-205.

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