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Petition for Ukrainian-style visa for Palestinians nearing threshold for parliamentary debate

A PETITION calling for government to create a Ukrainian-style visa scheme for Palestinians is nearing 100,000 signatures — the threshold needed for Parliament to consider a debate on the issue.

Today campaign group Gaza Families Reunited said its petition has been backed by 75 charities and law centres, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf, cross-party Parliamentarians and more than 80,000 members of the public.

It urged more people to sign the petition to help it reach the 100,000 mark before it closes on April 18.

The Gaza Families Reunited campaign told the Morning Star that existing routes for Gazans seeking to join family in Britain are "extremely limited and do not work".

At least two people have died waiting for the Home Office to decide whether they can reunite with loved ones in Britain, a spokesperson added, saying: “The British Government has previously swiftly offered protection to Ukrainian families under the Ukraine Family Scheme.

“We believe the UK Government has a historical and ongoing moral obligation to create a Gaza Family Scheme to enable Palestinians in the UK to bring their loved ones to safety until it is safe to return."

Stand up to Racism co-convener Sabby Dhalu told the Morning Star: “The fact people have to set up a petition calling on the government to take action and create a visa scheme that allows Palestinian individuals affected by war, to be allowed into Britain like it did for Ukraine, illustrates the racism in immigration and asylum policy.

“Palestinians must be granted humanitarian visas immediately.” 

Responding to the petition, last December the government said: “There are no plans to introduce bespoke arrangements for people arriving from the region.

“Those wishing to come to the UK who currently have no visa can apply under one of the existing visa routes.”

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