International pressure led Rwanda to back out of a secret agreement to take in African asylum seekers deported from Israel. Now Israel says it has a nearly identical agreement with a second country, widely known to be Uganda. Kampala denies any such agreement exists.
Israeli insisted on Wednesday that despite the collapse of a deal with Rwanda to forcibly deport tens of thousands of asylum seekers, the mass deportations can continue because an agreement is still in place with a “second third country,” widely believed to be Uganda.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the cancelation of the Rwanda deportation scheme Monday night, saying that Kigali had buckled in the face of international pressure. Hours later, however, Netanyahu himself buckled under pressure from his political base and reversed his reversal of policy.
In a brief to the High Court of Justice Wednesday afternoon, the Israeli State Attorney wrote that Israeli in fact had secret agreements with two countries to take in asylum seekers forcibly deported by Israel. A “special envoy to third countries” departed Israel for the “second third-country” Wednesday morning to ensure it, too, won’t back out of its allegedly secret agreement with Israel.
Third country refers to a country other than an asylum seeker’s country of origin to which Israel aims to deport them. Israel has refused to divulge which countries those “third countries” are, although Netanyahu acknowledged for the first time this week that the “first third country” was in fact Rwanda.Read More