South Tel Aviv Refugees Claim Government Abandoned Them

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Published on 19 Feb 2019, 18:35
PERSPECTIVES | Refugees in Israel's cosmopolitan city feel that Israel's government has abandoned them, feeling that their status remains unknown and neglected. Former Hotline for Refugees and Migrants Legal Director Asaf Weitzen analyzes.


A bill was introduced to the Israeli parliament, on November 21, seeking to expel Eritrean migrants.

Under the bill submitted by parliamentarian Sharren Haskell, from current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, anyone's request to be recognized as a refugee because of a war in their country of origin would be denied status if the state of war ends following a peace agreement.

The Interior Ministry would then be authorized to order their return to their country of origin.

'In the past ten years tens of thousands of infiltrators have come into Israel, some of whom have demanded to become refugees, many of them from Eritrea,' Haskel, using weighted political language to describe the asylum seekers.

'We have recently learned that Eritrea and Ethiopia have signed a peace agreement to end the war between them,' the bill went on to say, adding that the situation could enable the interior minister, who is in charge of immigration policy, to repatriate asylum seekers.

According to official data, 35,000 Africans crossed the border between Egypt and Israel, 72 percent of them from Eritrea. The majority of Africans from Eritrea stay six to 11 years, although 1,115 left Israel of their own free will, between January and July of 2018.

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