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Sudanese asylum seekers

  • 'Israelis won't rent to us, they're disconnecting us from electricity'

    The Petah Tikva municipality disconnected dozens of apartments where African asylum seekers were living from electricity, the mayor doesn't like seeing black people in public, and casual racism has a common occurrence. Faisal, a refugee from Darfur, describes what it's like to live in a city where he is unwanted. By Yael Marom The following testimony was sent to us by Faisal, an asylum seeker who came to Israel in 2008, and who now lives in the Israeli city Petah Tikva after spending two years in Holot detention center in southern Israel. His testimony comes on the heels of a new…

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  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of African asylum seekers protest Israel's deportation policy

    Hundreds of African asylum seekers gathered outside the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem on Thursday in order to protest the government's deportation policy, which the court is currently deliberating. Hundreds of African asylum seekers, mostly Eritreans and Sudanese, demonstrated outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on Thursday in protest at the government's proposed deportation policy. The court is currently deliberating a petition against the policy, which would expand and formalize the government's existing practice of deporting asylum seekers to "third countries" — such as Uganda or Rwanda — where they receive no protection, and from where they are often forced to…

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  • Uganda denies agreement with Israel on asylum seekers

    The Ugandan government officially denies claims it has signed an agreement with Israel, whereby it would absorb forcefully deported Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers. The Israeli government has resisted calls to divulge the details of the agreements it had allegedly signed with 'third countries.' Government officials in Uganda deny there is any agreement with Israel on the deportation of asylum seekers into the country, according to the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, citing Ugandan daily New Vision. In the report, published Tuesday, Uganda's Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs James Mugume is quoted as saying: "Neither the minister [of internal affairs] nor…

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  • Pre-army students to Netanyahu: Stop deportation of refugees

    Over 130 students from pre-military academies send a letter to the prime minister, calling on him to learn the lessons of the Holocaust and put an end to Israel's policy of deporting Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers. On the eve of Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, approximately 130 students in a pre-military academy sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling on him not to deport asylum seekers to countries where they would face danger. [tmwinpost] The letter was sent in the wake of several reports that revealed the State's plan to change its policy from "voluntary repatriation" (a policy…

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  • PHOTOS: Sudanese refugees protest gender violence

    Photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Approximately 200 Sudanese asylum seekers marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Tuesday by demonstrating against the European Union's lack of action regarding Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The protest comes in the wake of the mass rape of hundreds of women and girls in Darfur at the hands of al-Bashir's soldiers over the last several months. The demonstrators marched from Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv to the building that houses the European Union delegation to Israel in Ramat Gan, demanding that the EU intervene in order to stop the…

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  • Voices from Israel's 'open prison': Feeling caged in Holot

    'My curiosity drives me to walk around my prison, where I stand like an inmate near those massive buildings, guarded by imposing patrol towers.' Musings by a Sudanese refugee in Holot prison. By Hassan Shakur I live in a rugged and semi-abandoned grassland. It is a very remote and isolated area that doesn’t seem to support life at all. There are numerous rocky hills without trees, and the area lives up to its name as a deserted desert. I live in a small confined center enclosed by a fence that reminds me of a cowshed. The detention facility where I…

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  • 'This is not a life': A journey to Israel's 'open' detention center

    When a group of Jewish Israelis set out for the Holot 'open prison' in the Negev, they were hoping to sing Christmas carols to the asylum seekers. But by the time they got there, the things they saw and heard made it clear that there was nothing to sing about. By Ayla Peggy Adler When asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan walked out of the Holot prison last week, they walked out of obscurity. Until then, even people like myself who had been involved in their community six years ago when they first arrived to Israel—and who, three years later,…

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  • PHOTOS: Asylum seekers march to Jerusalem to protest government policies

    In a mass act of civil disobedience, over 150 Sudanese asylum seekers chose not to show up for the evening roll call Sunday night at an 'open prison' in Israel's south. Instead, they set out on a march to Be'er Sheva, more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) away, where they spent the night at the central bus station in freezing wintery conditions. According to law, the detainees must check in with prison authorities three times a day. On Monday morning they continued marching toward Jerusalem in order to protest their continued detention without trial and to demand recognition as refugees.…

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  • Shuttering shops on Shabbat: Hypocrisy and the rule of law

    The Supreme Court recently ordered that the rule of law be enforced when it comes to Tel Aviv shuttering businesses on the Sabbath. But the court is inconsistent with its own demands, only ordering that 'the law is the law' when it's convenient. These are confusing times. Our friends don't know what to think, and opinions on Facebook are mixed. We are here to analyze things honestly and, as always, though the most important prism – the prism of migration. Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality's policy of not enforcing the municipal bylaw barring the…

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  • When 'black' becomes synonymous with 'infiltrator'

    Israeli society is undergoing a process by which the words 'Eritrean' and 'Sudanese' are becoming synonymous with the word 'cleaner,' while 'Filipina' has long ago become synonymous with 'caregiver.' And who else is behind the education process if not the Interior Ministry and the Justice Ministry? The job market in Israel has always been divided along nearly impenetrable national and “racial” lines; the Knesset, like the Supreme Court, is careful to maintain the divisions. In the past the divisions were primarily between Mizrahi Jews, Muslim Arabs, and Christian Arabs. These days there are different groups as well. There is a direct link…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel