Israeli government is planning to deport about 40,000 African asylum seekers to a third country, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday, Radar2.net reported.
These migrants, who are mostly form Eritrea and Sudan, are seen by the Israeli authorities as illegal, Radar2.net said, noting that Israel has only granted asylum status to few number of them.
According to the website, Netanyahu said that his government has three stages in dealing with the issue of the migrants. The first is building a fence on the borders with Egypt and this actually stopped the migrants’ influx.
The second stage, according to Radar2.net, is deporting 20,000 African migrants and this third is the intense deportation of 40,000 migrants without their consent, noting this became affordable thanks to an international deal.
It is worth mentioning that the migrants live in very poor neighbourhoods in the south of Tel Aviv and thousands of them are locked up in Holot Detention Centre in the south of Israel, which all the Israeli ministers voted on Sunday to close it.
The United Nations’ High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said that it was “seriously concerned by the Israeli plan to deport African migrants.”
In a statement, the UNHCR said: “Eritreans and Sudanese asylum-seekers and refugees would be compelled to accept relocation to countries in Africa or face imprisonment in Israel.”
The Israeli High Court of Justice approved in August the mass deportation policy to a third country without naming it, but media reports revealed that it is Rwanda and Uganda.