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Soldiers testify on how IDF sent asylum seekers back to Egypt

Despite High Court rulings and official Defense Ministry procedures, Israeli soldiers sent back over 40 asylum seekers to Egypt in June 2015. The IDF top brass tried to cover up the incident.

Israeli soldiers turned away two groups of Sudanese asylum seekers crossing into the country in June 2015, sending them back to Egypt in breach of Israel’s High Court of Justice, according to a new investigative report by Israel Social TV. New testimonies from the soldiers reveal how the army’s top command and the IDF Spokesperson tried to paper over the incident.

“I was in the operations room when they reported that 27 refugees had crossed the fence,” says D. a former IDF soldier who served in the Caracal Battalion. “They were detained, bound, and sent back… the battalion commander tried to hide this from the company, and the operations room deleted records.” Those records were changed to conform with what the IDF had hoped to present, he adds.

Another soldier who was present told Social TV: “I was in the operations room. They remember this incident but they said that the army erased all the videos connected to the incident, and that we should not talk about it.”

Some of the soldiers wrote down their testimonies in a notebook, which include descriptions of Israeli soldiers hitting asylum seekers with sticks as the latter were trying to climb over the border fence. Later, they were told to tie them up and send them back to Egypt. The soldiers then reported to Egyptian security forces that the asylum seekers had never crossed the border. According to the testimonies, after rumors began spreading among the soldiers, the battalion commander informed his soldiers that the IDF top brass was taking care of the issue.

Despite the army’s attempts to whitewash the incident, even the Defense Ministry itself admitted that it had indeed taken place and that it contradicted its official procedures.

According to international law, it is forbidden to send a person back to a country if his/her life is in danger. In 2011, the state announced that it would cease sending back asylum seekers that had just crossed the border from Egypt. The High Court ruled that should the state seek to return someone, it must do so in accordance with international standards.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Timothy Porter

      Wait, if Israel is a horrible, racist country, why do they keep trying to sneak in?

      Furthermore, the article states: “According to international law, it is forbidden to send a person back to a country if his/her life is in danger.” Are their lives in danger in Egypt? Don’t tell me those wonderful, peaceful Muslims would ever harm anyone!

      Reply to Comment
        • Timothy Porter

          Sounds like someone is making a case for Apartheid there… After all, is any society perfect?

          Reply to Comment
          • Bernie X

            Speaking of Apartheid, when is the world going to start reforming the Indian caste system?

            Reply to Comment
          • carmen

            “reforming the indian caste system?” You’ll bring up anything in order to keep from addressing the grievous wrongs of the zionist state. That’s shameful bernie, really shameful.

            Reply to Comment
          • Timothy Porter

            Grievous wrongs? Israel is the most humane society in the history of man. I am not exaggerating here one bit.

            The world owes Israel a debt gratitude.

            Reply to Comment
          • Timothy Porter

            No, I mean the fact that Israel killed less than 7000 in self defense since 2000. Compare it to Syria where 500,000 died in 6 years. Israel is amazingly competent when containing the savage passions of her enemies.

            As far as the squatters go, if they don’t like it in Israel, they should go home. Israel is under no obligation to provide them with heating or anything else.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Timothy Porter, you’re precious. Usually I have to make a case by myself. But you made it for me. I rest.

            Reply to Comment
          • Timothy Porter

            “Usually I have to make a case by myself.”
            You’re assuming you’re capable of making a case. You’re giving yourself too much credit.

            “I rest.”
            I would too if I were you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Hmmmm. Yes, I do believe I made a very good case there and refuted your “no sovereign, no occupation” nonsense. I like that page a lot. Thank you. Only you would link to your defeats. Enjoy this also:

            ​Prof. David Kretzmer, an expert on international law, also commented on the findings of the Levy committee, appointed to investigate the legality of building outposts in the West Bank. “If Israel is not an occupying force, it must immediately relinquish ownership of all private lands seized over the years for military use, taken with authority as the occupying force in an occupied territory, and restore the lands to previous owners,” said Kretzmer.
            “I cannot understand how someone claims that Israel is not an occupying force in the West Bank, after over forty years of government petitions to the High Court of Justice, citing authority as an occupying force in an occupied territory,” said Kretzmer….
            Lawyer Michael Sfard, legal consultant for human rights organization “Yesh Din,” also commented on the report. “The Levy committee was sinfully convened in order to legitimize a crime, and has fully completed its objective. The report is not legal, rather ideological, and it ignores basic principles of law and order,” said Sfard.
            He continued, “The committee members apparently fell down the rabbit hole, and their report was written in a wonderland governed by the laws of absurdity – there’s no occupation, no illegal outposts, no laws, and apparently no Palestinian people. To take a line from Alice herself: ‘this is the stupidest tea party I’ve ever been to in all my life.'”
            read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/legal-expert-if-israel-isn-t-occupying-west-bank-it-must-give-up-land-held-by-idf-1.449909

            Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Very nice article and resource there by Phil Weiss on calling a duck a duck. Even Tzipi Hotovely calls it a duck.

          Reply to Comment

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