Israel Releasing 207 African Asylum Seekers From Detention


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On Sunday Israel announced its plans to release 207 African migrants seeking asylum, with an apparent deportation plan.

The Population Immigration and Border Authority in a statement revealed that the detainees made up of Eritrean nationals and Sudanese nationals will be released throughout the day from Saharonim Prison in Israel’s Negev region.

Israel has stated it is “highly probable” a deal can be reached with Uganda to take in the migrants.

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit had been instructed by the High Court of Justice instructed to present a deportation plan to safely resettle the migrants in a third country or set them free from detention.

Also on Friday, Uganda’s minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees, Musa Ecweru, spoke about a deal with Uganda to accept 500 African asylum seekers and that Israel was “positively considering” whereas in the past Uganda has denied that a deportation deal with Israel exists.

But he told Haaretz that his country would only accept refugees who wanted to go to Uganda and not by forced deportation.

In the past three years, about 1,700 asylum seekers were “willingly deported” to Uganda.

Approximately 39,000 Eritrean and Sudanese citizens now live in Israel.

Earlier this month, 58 migrants were freed from the prison after a deal with Rwanda fell through.

Benjamin Netanyahu the Prime Minister announced earlier this month after coming up with a new agreement with the U.N.’s refugee agency, that 16,000 African migrants would be resettled in Western nations and a similar number given temporary status in Israel. But the prime minister cancelled the deal shortly after criticism from right-wing politicians and advocacy groups.

Israel’s earlier offered each migrant $3,500 and a plane ticket, which has drew outrage from Israeli activists and the United Nations for the treatment of people fleeing war and persecution.

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