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Israel: Another country will receive forcefully deported asylum seekers

Image of African refugees in Israel [Rudychaimg/Wikipedia]
African refugees in Israel [Rudychaimg/Wikipedia]

An unnamed country has agreed to receive African refugees who are to be forcefully deported from Israel, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said yesterday.

Deri made the remarks during the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environmental Protection Committee meeting to discuss the plan to expel asylum seekers from Israel.

The heated debate led to removing MKs Stav Shaffir, Merav Michaeli, Oren Hazan, Michal Rozin, Issawi Frej and Tamar Zandberg from the hall.

“You have Nazi friends,” Meretz MK Zandberg shouted at Knesset members from the Likud party.

The Knesset meeting was repeatedly interrupted, with MKs from the coalition and the opposition criticising each other over the government’s plan with regards to asylum seekers.

Read: ‘I will not be a partner to this barbarity’: Three Israeli pilots refuse to fly deported African asylum seekers back to Africa

Meanwhile, Deri claimed that Eritrean asylum seekers prefer to leave for Rwanda and move from there to avoid paying a fine to their government for the period they were not in their home country.

“When they claim that they will not settle in the third state, it is because they want to avoid paying the fine,” Deri claimed, adding that in addition to the 3,000 African refugees who left Israel last year, 5,300 people, mostly Ukrainians and Georgians, were also deported.

Nearly two weeks ago, the Population and Immigration Authority informed detained asylum seekers that they have to leave Israel or face imprisonment.

The authority will issue a final two month visa for thousands who will be deported and explain to them that they can no longer work in the country or will face indefinite imprisonment. Thousands of asylum seekers are expected to leave the labour market in April and May.

The government aims to deport at least 600 Eritrean and Sudanese citizens a month, a total of 7,200 asylum seekers per year.

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