Israel to exchange weapons for migrants with African countries

Senior Israeli official says deal nearly completed with African governments to take tens of thousands of migrant expatriates in exchange for weapons, military training & ‘Israeli know how’.

By Itamar Eichner

Israel is close to signing a deal with several African countries who will accept tens of thousands of African migrants currently residing in Israel in exchange for a benefits package including security, economic and agricultural aid.

Sudanese migrants in Tel Aviv - Photo: Moti Kimchi

Sudanese migrants in Tel Aviv – Photo: Moti Kimchi

According to a senior official, the security aid will include Israeli arms and military knowledge and training.

Such deals are close to being finalized with at least three African countries, the official said. Israel’s chief negotiator in the talks was Hagai Hadas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s special advisor.

Another Israeli official added that Israel continues to explore the possibility of returning North Sudanese and Eritrean migrants to their home countries.

According to data presented on Monday to the government, it appears that on the first half of 2013 only 34 migrants crossed the Egyptian border into Israel. “The fence we’ve built is highly significant in buffeting the infiltration into Israel,” Netanyahu said.

But some related the drastic fall in the number of new migrants to the restrictions on employing migrants, including the limitation on migrants’ sending money home.

 

View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4402834,00.html

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