Tale of a Hunger-Striking Palestinian. In England.


The Daily Mail has a bizarre story about a palestinian Arab refugee in the UK who has gone on a hunger strike – to have his official age changed.

UK Supreme Court
The UK Supreme Court

A Palestinian refugee who went on hunger strike in a bizarre row with the Home Office about his age wants Supreme Court justices to consider his case.

The man, who settled in Bristol after fleeing his home in Gaza a decade ago, says he was born on December 29, 1994 and is 26, but immigration officials say evidence shows he was born on April 19, 1989 and have assessed his age as 31.

He took legal action in a bid to force the Home Office to change his date of birth.

An immigration tribunal judge dismissed his claim in September and three Court of Appeal judges dismissed his appeal against that decision in January

Lawyers representing him have now made an application to the Supreme Court.

After his family arranged for him to flee Gaza, he claimed asylum after arriving in the UK in 2007, was placed with a foster family, and now has indefinite leave to remain.

Commenting, Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, told MailOnline : ‘A having-your-cake-and-eating-it scenario, if ever there was one.

‘He originally claimed to be a child but was judged to be an adult. He is now asking the Supreme Court to accept that he is 26 years old because the Court of Appeal didn’t believe him and ruled him to be 31.

‘What an utter waste of time and taxpayers’ money. Unbelievable.’

The man applied to be a volunteer at a Nightingale hospital in Bristol during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic but his application was rejected because his claimed birth date did not match the date on his residence permit.

He went on hunger strike for months and was admitted to Bristol’s Southmead Hospital in April.

This reminds me a bit of ‘Shirley Temper’ Ahed Tamimi’s always changing age. Minus the hunger strike (but a real “having-your-cake-and-eating-it scenario”).

But besides the age-games, there is something else interesting about this case.

They have heard how he was born in Gaza, in the Occupied Palestinian territories, and that when he was young he had been ‘severely mistreated’ by resistance movement Hamas for refusing to act as a suicide bomber.

Whether or not that is true in this man’s case, it is interesting he would claim this. It must, at the very least, be a phenomena that occurs and is well known in Gaza.

Hat tip: Michal

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A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media