Gary Spedding was detained after landing in Tel Aviv ahead of meetings with parliamentarians and activists. He says his phone was hacked and contacts extracted. A high-profile member of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party and a long-standing activist for human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Gary Spedding, was detained on arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday and told would be deported and banned from the country for 10 years. Speaking from the airport, after being held for eight hours, Spedding told +972 that the interrogating officers hacked into his mobile phone, and copied email addresses and telephone numbers. He also…Read More... | 57 Comments
We wrote in January [Hebrew] about Supreme Court Justice Yoram Denzinger permitting the deportation of an Israeli boy and his Polish mother. Yesterday at 5 a.m., the mother and her son were arrested ahead of their deportation. This time again, Justice Denzinger refused to get involved. The boy was born in Israel in 2005 to a Polish women and an Israeli man. The boy has no connection to his father, received Israeli citizenship, and grew up in Israel from birth. In August 2010, the mother submitted a request for status on the basis of a government decision stating that children…Read More... | 12 Comments
Sudanese refugees from the Nuba Mountains are being registered by Israel's Interior Ministry as South Sudanese, making it difficult for them to find and keep work, pay for rent, bills, or food, and subjecting them to potential arrest and deportation. By Natasha Roth How would you react if someone told you that your name was no longer your name? Even though you had an official, government-issued identity card with it written on? Or that your nationality was now different from the one you've held all your life, though your passport proved where you were from? Now imagine that this unilateral change to…Read More... | 1 Comment
'As soon as I got my passport stamped, the Airport Authority employee demanded I sign a commitment not to enter the occupied Palestinian territories. The document stated that should I breach this 'order,' I could be deported and not allowed back into Israel for another 10 years. I refused to sign it...the document was torn in front of my face, and my entrance to Israel was denied.' By Dáša Raimanová My name is Dáša Raimanová. I am a filmmaker. At the end of August, I was meant to join a grassroots organization operating in the Palestinian territories to create a documentary…Read More... | 14 Comments
A Jerusalem court issued a temporary injunction on Thursday, prohibiting the detention of Sudanese refugees. The group was slated for arrest and forced transfer to a prison camp in the Negev desert beginning on October 15. The court's move comes in response to an October 3 petition, filed by the Clinic for Migrants’ Rights at the Academic Center of Law and Business, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Hotline for Migrant Workers, ASSAF Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, the African Refugee Development Center (ADRC), and Kav La’Oved, as well six African asylum seekers. The petition was filed against Interior…Read More... | 2 Comments
Three months ago, Interior Minister Eli Yishai deported several hundred families from Israel to South Sudan, despite unequivocal statements by human rights group that mere fact of the established state is far from the offering the safety that would allow for these families' return; the request was at least to extend the group exemption from deportation - Israel's mechanism of neither denying nor granting asylum - a few months longer. Even that demand was ignored. The deportees' baggage, all 14 tons of it, was delayed for two months and kept at a warehouse in Israel, simply because the state felt…Read More... | 20 Comments
A few weeks ago, I was in south Tel Aviv on a Friday night conducting research. As I walked down Salame Street, I heard a chorus singing above me. It was coming from the second story of a low-slung, dilapidated apartment building. I saw a few latecomers entering the building -- Eritrean women draped in white; Eritrean men, also wearing white, and carrying what looked like large walking sticks. As I listened to the music, I realized the sticks were being struck against the floor for percussion. I guessed that the singing was probably some sort of prayer. There was…Read More... | 9 Comments
Cote d’Ivoire’s president, Alassane Ouattara arrived in Israel late on Saturday evening, his first official visit to the country as leader of the West African nation. Ouattara’s visit comes exactly 50 years after independent Cote d’Ivoire’s first president, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, visited the country. But it also comes just as Israel launches a major crackdown on African nationals, including Ivorians, it says are illegally living in the country. During his four-day trip, Ouattara is due to meet key officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, before attending later this week President Shimon Peres’ annual Presidential Conference, where he…Read More... | 5 Comments
Activists believe the deportation of South Sudanese will most probably not lower the number of African migrants in Israel, and it is also a direct violation of Israel's obligations under international commitments. Israeli authorities have begun arresting dozens of African migrants, as reported by +972's Mya Guarnieri. It is the latest in an effort to crackdown on individuals who over the years have entered the country illegally. The move comes despite a court order that the government allow them one week to turn themselves in voluntarily. The one week period expires on Thursday. The government hopes to deport an unspecified number…Read More... | 8 Comments
Who are the migrant families that reside in south Tel Aviv and face the constant threat of deportation? Who are the refugees struggling to survive? South Tel Aviv stories brings you the lives and faces of the non-Jewish, non-Palestinian "others" who live in the shadow of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and whose lives are impacted by Israel's goal of maintaining a Jewish majority. The first part in a series. For some reason, the woman smiles at me as I interview a pair of Eritrean refugees. Though her skin is fair and she is freckled, I guess her to be Indian. She…Read More... | 12 Comments
The assassination of Zuhair al-Qaissi, which sparked the escalation in the south, points to Israel's weak Supreme Court, a lack of transparency and accountability, and the state's flip attitude towards its judicial branch--as do some street signs in Tel Aviv The recent escalation between Israel and Gaza began after Israeli forces assassinated Zuhair al-Qaissi, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a militant group composed of members of various Palestinian parties. Haaretz noted that the PRC was "the organisation that captured Gilad Shalit", the Israeli soldier who was freed in October 2011. The army says that al-Qaissi was behind the August 2011…Read More... | 51 Comments
By Elizabeth Tsurkov Twenty-six children with their mothers have been brought to a holding facility at Ben-Gurion Airport, and deportations are expected to speed up now that the school year is ending Two Israeli NGOs have launched a campaign against the deportation of migrant children, following the deportations of 26 children and their mothers and disturbing reports about the conditions in the holding facility in which the families are being held before being deported. The deportations are the result of a government decision back in August 2010 that is now being implemented after a long delay due to public pressure.…Read More... | 3 Comments
The headline comes from a response issued by the Interior Ministry in Israel to baseless accusations by self-hating activists, who brazenly claimed ministry officials yesterday swooped on the homes of 9 migrant families and arrested 9 mothers with their children, aged 18 months to three years, to begin processing them for deportation. In line with the ministry's statement, I would like to ask you not to watch the video below. It plainly shows members of the Ministry's "Oz" Unit not taking a young Philippine mother down the stairs of her home, with her three-year-old daughter not toddling beside her. It…Read More... | 8 Comments
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