African asylum seekers in Israel seek world help

2014-01-06 21:06
(Jack Guez, AFP)

(Jack Guez, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tel Aviv - Thousands of African asylum seekers demonstrated outside Western embassies in Tel Aviv on Monday in a second day of mass protests against Israel's immigration policies.

The migrants, primarily from Eritrea and Sudan, marched from downtown Tel Aviv to the embassies, calling for help in the face of Israel's refusal to give them refugee status and its detention without trial of hundreds of asylum seekers.

A police spokesperson said the march by some 10 000 migrants was coordinated with police and there were no disturbances.

Under legislation passed on 10 December, authorities can detain illegal immigrants entering Israel for up to a year without trial.

A sprawling detention facility has been opened in the Negev desert to house both them and immigrants already in the country deemed to have disturbed public order.

The demonstrators marched past the Israeli office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, chanting "Wake up UN".

The UNHCR has not been responsible for determining the refugee status of asylum seekers in Israel since 2009, when that authority was transferred to the interior ministry.

UNHCR official Sharon Harel said Israel had not approved a single request for refugee status in all of last year, although an interior ministry spokesperson told AFP it had granted 10.

Harel said the asylum seekers already in Israel - 14 000 from Eritrea and 36 000 from Sudan - received collective protection on arrival and were not returned to their countries of origin.

But the UNHCR condemned Israel for not affording "those with protection needs" with "access to refugee status determination", defining them as "infiltrators" without "taking into account the reasons why they had to flee from their country of origin".

The interior ministry rejected the UN criticism, insisting "all the requests for asylum are examined by the population and immigration authority".

"Any foreign national who has requested political asylum in Israel is protected from expulsion until the examination of their request has been completed", it said.

The right-leaning government has made removal of African migrants who slipped across the desert border with Egypt before the completion of a high-tech barrier last year a priority.

It says their presence in Israel threatens its Jewish character.

Tens of thousands of African migrants held a mass rally in central Tel Aviv on Sunday to mark the launch of a three-day nationwide strike.

Read more on:    israel

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
36 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

10 of the most expensive things that will leave your jaw hanging!
Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency towards setting your expectations too high which will result in disappointment. Try not to let your thoughts...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.