For the past four years, asylum seekers and their supporters have demanded that the Holot detention center be shut down. Now it’s finally happening, but not at all how they envisioned. The Israeli government shut down the Holot detention facility, the open-air, desert detention facility built for African asylum seekers, on Wednesday after four years of operation. More than 13,000 asylum seekers were imprisoned in Holot without trial over the course of its operation, as part of the Israeli government’s efforts to force African asylum seekers out of the country. [tmwinpost] The hundreds of asylum seekers who remained in Holot…Read More...
The media tends to stereotype the Mizrahi residents of south Tel Aviv as angry xenophobes whose problems will be solved with the deportation of African asylum seekers from their neighborhoods. But the truth is far more complicated.Read More...
Israel plans to begin deporting tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in the coming months. Hundreds gather outside the President's Residence in Jerusalem, hoping to tell him their stories. By Yael Marom Several hundred asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan demonstrated in front of Israeli President Rivlin’s official residence in Jerusalem Monday night, calling on him to stop planned mass deportations. The asylum seekers, including many women and children, were joined by dozens of Jewish Israelis, among them several Holocaust survivors. [tmwinpost] The demonstrators chanted “we are refugees,” “refugees don’t deport refugees,” and “the deportations are a…Read More... | 2 Comments
Israel finally plans to close its desert detention facility for African asylum seekers. Refugee advocates worry it could be the start of something even worse. During a midnight vote on Monday, the Knesset passed a bill that will enable the government to detain asylum seekers indefinitely or deport them to an unspecified country in Africa. The law passed by a margin of 71 to 41. [tmwinpost] The consequences of the law will stem not only from what appears in the text of the bill itself, but also what doesn’t: there is nothing in the bill that mentions deportation. Instead, on…Read More... | 4 Comments
A new book about Israel's crusade against asylum seekers and undocumented workers strikes at an essential truth about the precarious status of non-Jews in a self-defined Jewish state. "The Unchosen: The Lives of Israel's New Others," Mya Guarnieri Jaradat, Pluto Press, 2017. In a small apartment in south Tel Aviv, a Filipina woman hides her Christmas tree in the hallway, away from the windows, fearing that were someone to spot it from outside she might be found out and wind up being deported. On the outskirts of a park in the same city, prospective employers size up a row of…Read More... | 3 Comments
The following is a redacted version of an affidavit that was attached to a petition filed by Israeli human rights NGOs and the Tel Aviv University Refugee Rights' Clinic against the recently announced policy of indefinitely incarcerating Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers who refuse to leave Israel for Rwanda or Uganda. Under a new policy announced on March 31, 2015, asylum-seekers detained in Holot will be offered to leave Israel for an unnamed third country. If they refuse to do so, after 30 days, they would be incarcerated in Saharonim prison. Dozens of Eritrean asylum-seekers in Holot have since undergone interviews in…Read More... | 22 Comments
In a move unprecedented in Western countries, Israel's outgoing interior minister announces plan to compel asylum seekers to leave the country. Israel's High Court has repeatedly struck down laws that authorized the indefinite detention of asylum seekers. Asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea will face deportation to third countries or face unlimited imprisonment in Israel under a new Interior Ministry policy set to be implemented in the coming days. Israel will provide asylum seekers 30 days notice, at the end of which, if one refuses to leave, they will face indefinite detention, according to a statement released by the ministry's…Read More... | 15 Comments
A senior Likud MK is proposing to suspend much of Israeli democracy. His bill has zero chance of passing muster, but it does show where the Israeli Right thinks the future of the conflict lies. MK Yariv Levin (Likud), chairman of the House Parliamentary Committee, is pushing a new directive — temporary legislation — to "combat terrorism" that amounts to perhaps the most sweepingly anti-democratic legislative project in recent years, whether implemented or proposed. The directive is extraordinarily harsh even by Israeli measure, and is almost certainly unconstitutional on several levels. It is meant to apply both to the occupied Palestinian territories and…Read More... | 31 Comments
Sadiq al-Sadiq says he never agreed to return to his home country, where he fears persecution. Israeli authorities, however, say he signed a document agreeing to just that. Based on Avi Belcherman's Hebrew article on +972's sister site, "Local Call" Adapted by Michael Omer-Man A Darfurian asylum seeker who left the Israel last week under the assumption that he was going to a third country — but soon found himself being sent back to Sudan — was returned to Israel on Friday. Activists said that his return to Israel took place against his will, and that he was being held…Read More...
Following Washington's admission that Israel is being kept out of its visa-waiver program due to discrimination against Arab-Americans, a French citizen is detained for three days under similar circumstances. French Embassy: 'We’re regularly in touch with the Israeli authorities about these issues.' A French citizen has been held by Israeli authorities at Ben-Gurion Airport for three days after being denied entry to the country. "M.," a 26-year-old photographer who hoped to finish a photo project on Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, had been granted entry to Israel for three previous work visits. M., whose family requested that her name not…Read More... | 7 Comments
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. 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 your identity, which…Read More... | 1 Comment
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