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Israel cancels plan to deport African asylum seekers

28 April, 2018, 15:03 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Asylum seekers protest against deportation in Tel Aviv Israel Saturday Feb. 24 2018. Israel considers the vast majority of the nearly 40,000 migrants to be job seekers and says it has no legal obligation to keep them. The Africans nearly all from dic

"While the Israeli government's declaration to the High Court that it will stop forcible deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers to "third countries" is welcome, there is still deep cause for concern. Therefore, as of April 17, 2018, [the state] has ceased to hold hearings as part of the deportation policy, and no more deportation decisions will be made at this time", the state said. There are some 38,000 African asylum seekers in Israel that the government had planned to deport under a plan announced in January.

They say they fled danger at home and that it is not safe to return to another African country, but Israel considers the majority of African asylum seekers to be economic migrants.

"At this stage, the possibility of carrying out an unwilling deportation to a third country is not on the agenda", the government wrote in a response to the court.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu tweeted that he would prepare to reopen Israeli detention facilities for the migrants.

The migrants will now be required to renew residency permits after every two months, as they had been doing before the deportation threats, the Israeli government said.




Netanyahu dropped the United Nations plan and said he would revert to his earlier plan to send the asylum seekers to an unnamed African country, believed to be Uganda.

The immigration authority is still planning to deport the illegal migrants voluntarily.

The Africans started moving toward Israel in 2005 after neighboring Egypt violently quashed a refugee demonstration and word spread of safety and job opportunities in Israel. Under the plan, migrants who had chosen to leave by March 31 would receive a payment of $3,500 as well as free airfare and other incentives.

Thousands are concentrated in poor neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv, an area that has become known as "Little Africa".

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