Israel To Pay Africans $3,500 to Leave

 

African Asylum seekers who have been denied entry into Israel

African Asylum seekers who have been denied entry into Israel

The Israeli government will pay $3,500 grants to African refugees to encourage them to leave the country, it has said.

The country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the move was designed to “protect the Jewish and democratic character” of the Middle Eastern state.

The country’s coalition cabinet voted unanimously last weekend to approve the plan, drawn up by the country’s new Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and supported by Mr Netanyahu.

“We are determined to remove the tens of thousands of infiltrators who are here, after we lowered to zero the number of work-seeking infiltrators who have entered Israel’s cities,” Mr Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting, according to a government release.

BEER SHEVA, ISRAEL - DECEMBER 16: (ISRAEL OUT) African migrants walk on a highway as they try to walk to Jerusalem in protest after abandoning a detention facility in the southern Israeli desert on December 16, 2013 near Beer Sheva, Israel. Over 100 African migrants abandoned the 'open' Israeli detention center, which opened last week, to march to Jerusalem to protest a law allowing authorities to keep them in open-ended detention until the resolution of their asylum requests are granted or they are deported or volunteered to leave the country. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

BEER SHEVA, ISRAEL – DECEMBER 16: (ISRAEL OUT) African migrants walk on a highway as they try to walk to Jerusalem in protest after abandoning a detention facility in the southern Israeli desert on December 16, 2013 near Beer Sheva, Israel. Over 100 African migrants abandoned the ‘open’ Israeli detention center, which opened last week, to march to Jerusalem to protest a law allowing authorities to keep them in open-ended detention until the resolution of their asylum requests are granted or they are deported or volunteered to leave the country. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Israel already pays grants of $1,500 to migrants who agree to leave but the proposal would see the figure raised to $3,500.

Other measures approved as part of a £73m package include the establishment of a migrant detention centre in the Negev desert.

Extra funding will also be provided to police in south Tel Aviv where populations of African migrants live.

Migrants who do not take up the repatriation offer will be subject to detention in the new facility.

Last year a report by Human Rights Watch said the repatriation was not as voluntary as its seemed and amounted to coercion.

epa03124960 African refugees wait for a job offer near the central bus station in southern Tel Aviv, Israel,  27 February 2012. Some 50,000 Africans have entered Israel in recent years, fleeing conflict and poverty in search of safety and opportunity in the relatively prosperous Jewish state. A growing number of African migrants say they were captured, held hostage and tortured by Egyptian smugglers hired to sneak them into Israel.  EPA/ABIR SULTAN

epa03124960 African refugees wait for a job offer near the central bus station in southern Tel Aviv, Israel, 27 February 2012. Some 50,000 Africans have entered Israel in recent years, fleeing conflict and poverty in search of safety and opportunity in the relatively prosperous Jewish state. A growing number of African migrants say they were captured, held hostage and tortured by Egyptian smugglers hired to sneak them into Israel. EPA/ABIR SULTAN

“Destroying people’s hope of finding protection by forcing them into a corner and then claiming they are voluntarily leaving Israel is transparently abusive,” said report author Gerry Simpson.

“Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel are left with the choice of living in fear of spending the rest of their days locked up in desert detention centres or of risking detention and abuse back home.”

In 2012 the US government criticised Israel’s treatment of African asylum seekers on the basis that they were denied refugee status and basic healthcare.

The state department’s annual report also criticised inflammatory language used by the Israeli government.

Israel has an estimated number of around 50,000-60,000 African migrants living within its borders, around 0.6% of its 8 million population.

 

By Jon Stone | Published by The Independent on May 15, 2015

 

 Related Posts

Everyday Racist Treatment of Africans Abroad

Traveling While Black

The Gaze on Black Bodies

Nigeria: Interpretations of Racism

Racism’s Big Comeback in America

Notes From My Middle Passage

 

 

 

 

One response to “Israel To Pay Africans $3,500 to Leave

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s