Thousands of asylum seekers & migrants will be deported from Israel within the coming month as part of a two-stage plan, says Interior Minister Sa’ar.
By Omri Efraim
Israel will deport thousands of illegal migrants and refugees from Sudan and Eritrea after the holiday season, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar revealed yesterday.
The minister told the Knesset’s House Committee that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved a few days ago an agreement signed between Israel and a country that agreed to absorb asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea.
Sa’ar said his office is expected to launch the operation to deport illegal migrants after the holidays. As part of the operation, thousands of additional migrants and asylum seekers will be flown out of the country. The Interior Ministry will encourage the migrants to leave willingly, but after a set period of time their stay permits will be revoked and they will be forced out of the country.
The minister said that the State will not extend any permits and will begin to enforce the ban on hiring infiltrators.
Hagai Hadas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s envoy, has been negotiating over the past few months with several African countries. According to the minister, Israel has reached a final agreement with one of the Eastern Africa countries. Different sources reported that the unnamed country will absorb the asylum seekers for money, information, assistance and agricultural equipment that Israel will provide to it.
“We’re hoping to operate in the coming weeks and months in a way that will make another exit for infiltrators in the country, while trying to reach agreements with more countries,” Sa’ar said.
According to data from the Population and Immigration Authority, 55,000 asylum seekers reside in Israel today – 40,000 from Eritrea and the rest from Sudan. According to the authority’s data, 2000-3000 individuals willingly left the country in the past year.
The minister said that the State will first invest in raising awareness in the migrant community, and aid them in exiting the country, including payment for travel. Sa’ar said that in the second phase of the plan, after the holidays, the first population that must leave will be defined and set a time to depart—while the ministry will simultaneously enforce the ban to hire asylum seekers.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4423534,00.html