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Cash or jail: Israel gives ultimatum to African migrants

2 min read
Supreme Court of Israel

The Supreme Court of Israel. Photo: israeltourism.

Israel has issued notices to 20,000 African migrants, most of whom are from Eritrea and the Sudan, according to Reuters. Migrants are being offered $3,500 and a plane ticket to sub-saharan Africa, which they will either accept or face jail time.

The Supreme Court ruled back in August that these migrants can be held for up to 60 days. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government views them as “infiltrators” who seek to exploit Israel as their land of opportunity, rather than refugees from violence. Potential host countries are not detailed in the notices, but are described as “safe”.

But a contrary sentiment is brewing. Some rabbis and Nazi holocaust survivors are among those who are advocating for the migrants’ right to be treated as refugees from war and abuse. Some Israelis are offering to help by taking migrants into their homes.

The American Anti Defamation League is pushing for Israel to reconsider the deportation strategy, and refers to a Jewish “refugee heritage”.

The United Nations refugee agency has counseled Israel to take a different course of action, as many of those migrants who have recently departed to sub-saharan Africa ended up on the journey to Europe, often experiencing abuse, torture, or death on the journey.

Prior to erecting a border fence along the Israeli border with Egypt, which has since effectively ended migration from the region, Israel experienced an influx of approximately 64,000 African migrants, many which have since departed.

Full story:

By Frank Sellers
The Duran

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