Netanyahu said looking for ways to forcibly deport illegal migrants


The Israeli government has issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment.

Human rights groups are criticizing the Israeli government's deportation plan, arguing that third countries like Rwanda and Uganda are not safe destinations for the migrants.

Numerous undocumented in Africa allege they are fleeing from conflicts and persecution, and seek refugee status, but Israeli officials sustain they are economic migrants; thus, these officials resist recognizing them as refugees.

Those who leave by the end of March will be given $3,500, along with airfare and other incentives.

"Zero", he said. But now, "there is a second job... to remove the infiltrators who entered Israel illegally before the construction of the barrier". Numerous immigrants, who are mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, fled to Israel seeking asylum from persecution and conflict, BBC News reported. However, the United Nations refugee agency said the move is a violation of worldwide and Israel laws.

"We see here the implementation of the decision", said Drori-Avraham of the Tel Aviv-based Aid Organisation for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel (ASSAF).

The Israeli authorities, however exempted children, victims of human trafficking and slavery and the elderly.

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"Today the Cabinet will approve the plan for deporting the infiltrators from Israel", said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement.

"We have expelled about 20,000 and now the mission is to get the rest out", Mr. Netanyahu said.

According to Israeli authorities these people are seeking economic opportunities and not asylum therefore their claim to be refugees is void. There are 38,000 illegal migrants in Israel and around 1500 of them are living in detention centers.

Those who don't voluntarily cooperate will end up staying as guests of the Holot Prison facility until they are deported.

Israel tacitly recognises that the Sudanese and Eritreans can not be returned to their risky homelands, so it has signed deals with Rwanda and Uganda, which agree to accept departing migrants on condition they consent to the arrangement, activists say. "We don't know what is waiting for us (in Rwanda and Uganda)", he told Reuters by telephone.

Campaign group the Hotline for Migrant Workers condemned the move, saying expulsions "put the refugees' lives in danger". The government now considers most of the "infiltrators" to be economic migrants.

Rwanda and Uganda have agreed to accept those who can not return to conflict-ridden or repressed areas in Sudan and Eritrea if they agree to the plan, according to activists.