Hundreds held in Israel's desert detention facility march to nearby Saharonim Prison after seven asylum seekers were transferred and imprisoned there indefinitely — for refusing to leave the country. By Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Hundreds of asylum seekers detained in Holot, Israel’s desert detention facility for African asylum seekers, marched to nearby Saharonim Prison on Thursday after seven asylum seekers were imprisoned there for refusing to be sent an unnamed country in Africa, widely presumed to be Rwanda, as part of a “voluntary” deportation program. The demonstrators chanted “We are refugees not criminals,” “We are human beings,” “Bring back our brothers,” “Stop the…Read More...
Israel begins issuing deportation notices to African asylum seekers: leave the country within two months, or face indefinite imprisonment. By Oren Ziv Two hundred of them arrived in the early morning hours on Sunday, gathering in an industrial area in the mostly ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, just outside of Tel Aviv. They arrived on foot from the main road, or by costly taxis. Now, they stand in a parking lot, amidst parked trucks and piles of garbage. They are here, outside the Interior Ministry’s main office, to submit asylum requests or renew their visas, which the Israeli government requires…Read More...
A selection of articles and stories about asylum seekers and refugees in Israel on the occasion of World Refugee Day. (Full disclosure, I couldn't include just 10) It has been more than a decade since refugees from Darfur first began making the dangerous journey across the Sinai desert in order to seek asylum in Israel. Since those early years, Israeli society and successive Israeli governments have become increasingly hostile toward the asylum seekers from Sudan, Eritrea and elsewhere who sought safety and dignity in the country. On the occasion of World Refugee Day, here is a selection of articles about…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Israeli government continues to pass discriminatory laws against African asylum seekers, turning the Israeli public against us. But how could it be that Jews have forgotten the word 'refugee?' By Monim Haroon A new law that went into effect starting on May 1 stipulates that the state will take 20 percent of asylum seekers' monthly salaries, and 16 percent from our employers, putting the money into a fund that will only become available to us the moment we board a plane that flies us away from Israel. If we refuse to leave the country, the Administration of Border Crossings, Population and…Read More...
Drivers entering Jerusalem this week were greeted by an unusual message, which activists hope will jump-start a public discussion about the Israeli government's treatment of refugees. By Raanan Shemesh Forshner A group of activists from Jerusalem altered the official sign at the entrance to the city this week so that anyone driving in saw an unusual message: “Welcome refugees.” The addition of “refugees” was removed after a few hours. [tmwinpost] “We felt like we had to do something for the wellbeing of asylum seekers,” the activists explained. “Dozens of asylum seekers have been killed on Israel’s southern border in recent weeks,”…Read More...
Video by extremist Sunni group shows execution of three Eritrean asylum seekers coerced into leaving Israel last year. At least three Eritrean asylum seekers who lived in Israel and were deported to a third country were executed by Islamic State militants in Libya this past week, according to family and friends who recognized them in a video released by the extremist Sunni group. The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants is checking the possibility that additional Eritreans deported by Israel were also executed. [tmwinpost] "I recognized my relative, T., from the photos published by ISIS that appeared on Facebook before the…Read More... | 34 Comments
Right-wing activists intentionally disrupt memorial ceremonies held in a public park by Eritrean immigrants. Police arrest two neighbors who attempt to intervene. [Comment added below] Every Saturday, African asylum seekers from the Eritrean community gather in a small park on De Modina Street in the Shapira neighborhood of south Tel Aviv. There, they hold memorial ceremonies for the loved ones who have died in Eritrea or in Sinai while on their way to Israel. For years, these ceremonies have taken place every week with no sound system or speeches - just people sitting and crying together. This week, right-wing activists from…Read More... | 10 Comments
Six years after he fled Eritrea for Israel, Aman has found himself living in Holot - an 'open detention center' built by the Israeli government for African asylum seekers. His wife and his daughter, on the other hand, were left behind in Tel Aviv and are not permitted to live with him. By Ayla Peggy Adler When Aman, who has been sitting in Israeli prisons for over two years, was moved to the new Holot “open detention center,” he was told he was no longer a prisoner, but a resident. That got him thinking. “If I’m a resident, then my…Read More... | 31 Comments
Photos & reports: Keren Manor, Yotam Ronen, Tali Mayer, Shiraz Grinbaum, Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Thousands of African asylum seekers and their supporters marched from Levinksy Park in Tel Aviv's south on Monday to protest outside of eight foreign embassies, calling on the international community to support their struggle against Israel's asylum policies. Marching to the American, British, Swedish, Italian, Canadian, Ethiopian, French and German embassies, the asylum seekers called on the foreign governments exert pressure on Israel to examine their asylum claims and stop arresting and detaining members of the refugee community. The asylum seekers also marched to the United Nations Refugee Agency,…Read More... | 1 Comment
Eritrean refugees gathered Saturday in south Tel Aviv's Levinsky Park to mourn and honor the victims of the Lampedusa shipwreck. Over 100 victims, all African refugees, died after a boat carrying them to Europe sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, on October 3. About 150 others are still reported as missing. Some Eritreans living in Israel had family members aboard the ship. Photos: Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen / Activetills.orgRead More... | 1 Comment
While most Israelis were focused on the latest war on Gaza or the last election, verbal incitement, physical attacks, incarceration without trial and forced deportation of Africans continued unabated. A timeline of Israel's war on African asylum-seekers between November 2012 and May 2013. By David Sheen Last Thursday, May 23, 2013, marked exactly one year to the day when a thousand Jewish Israelis ran rampant through the streets of Tel Aviv, smashing and looting African-operated businesses and physically assaulting any dark-skinned person they came across. Sadly, the Israeli economic, political and religious establishment - who were in large measure responsible for…Read More... | 9 Comments
This week: Palestinians arrested as Israelis march (and bicycle) to Jerusalem, Israeli settlers and Palestinians throw stones, African immigrant women and children are released from prison, a graphic novel portray the popular struggle, shrink-wrapped animal rights activists ride through Tel Aviv, activists demand more Mizrahi Jews on their bills, and the Separation Wall continues to surround Al Walaja.Read More... | 5 Comments
The Interior Ministry declared Sanait Tesfauneh, an asylum-seeker from Eritrea, a 'threat to public security' and placed her in administrative detention after she was suspected of purchasing a forged work permit. Now, several organizations are attempting to challenge the detention system that deprives asylum seekers of their civil liberties. Victor Hugo's Les Misérables was published in 1862. Over the years the book became the most famous indictment against the treatment of the weak by society, authorities, and the law. Hugo tells the tale of Jean Valjean who was unable to find work to support his family, so he smashed a…Read More... | 16 Comments
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