People who have applied for refugee status but have not received a response will be allowed to stay, for now
Thousands of asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan will soon be told to leave Israel within three months or face prison. The Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority has begun this month preparing to deport these asylum seekers, on the orders of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Interior Minister Arye Dery and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.
The cabinet vote on the deportation campaign has been postponed due to a budgetary dispute between the treasury and the Public Security Ministry.
In the first stage, certain groups will be exempted from deportation: children, adults over 60, parents of minor children who rely on them for support, those with serious medical or mental health problems and victims of human trafficking and slavery. Individuals in these groups are exempt from being sent to the Holot detention facility in the Negev.
People who have applied for refugee status but have not received a response will also be allowed to stay, for now.
Thousands of other African migrants who entered Israel illegally and who have been detained at Holot in the past, or who meet the criteria for detention there, will receive notification that they must leave Israel within three months the next time they go to Interior Ministry offices to renew their residency permits or face indefinite imprisonment. Barring changes to the law, Holot is scheduled for closure in less than three months.
There are an estimated 27,000 citizens of Eritrea living in Israel, as well as 7,500 Sudanese nationals and 2,500 people from other African nations. Some 5,000 children have been born to African asylum seekers in Israel. Read more