Ivorians fail in Israel court bid

2012-06-24 18:04

Jerusalem - An Israeli court on Sunday upheld government plans to deport illegal migrants from the Ivory Coast, paving the way for the imminent expulsion of an estimated 2 000 Ivorians.

The United Nations declared Ivory Coast "a crisis state" in 2004 after years of civil unrest. But after fighting ended and economist Alassane Ouattara was elected as president in 2011, Israel said it was cancelling a long-standing policy of "collective protection" for Ivorian migrants.

On Sunday, the Jerusalem District Court rejected a petition by 132 Ivorian emigres requesting that their status be restored, or that alternatively each be enabled to apply for refugee status, or given leave to stay on humanitarian grounds.

The petition argued that "based on many international reports, including recent UN reports, the situation in Ivory Coast is still dangerous", and their status should therefore not change.

But the court ruled that the new policy, based on Israeli foreign ministry evaluations, was reasonable and proportionate.

Sabine Hadad, spokesperson for the interior ministry's population and migration authority, told AFP there were approximately 2 000 Ivorians in Israel, and that their expulsion would begin in July.

Last week, Israel flew home a first plane load of 120 illegal immigrants from South Sudan who it said had agreed to be voluntarily repatriated.

Since 10 June, Israel has arrested hundreds of Africans in a nationwide roundup with the aim of deporting them.

At Sunday's weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that a second flight to South Sudan would leave Israel on Monday.

"Two additional planes will leave next week," he added.

Hadad said 150 South Sudanese who agreed to leave Israel voluntarily would fly directly to the capital Juba between Monday and Tuesday.

  • Gerda Malherbe - 2012-06-24 19:03

    They'll be back, mark my words. we know

      PJP - 2012-06-24 19:43

      Israel and America seem to get the refugees of the world. SA will soon have boat loads of refugees fleeing from the ingorance that they voted for.

  • bernard.bracka - 2012-06-24 22:12

    Besides the hell thats been going on in the past week i find israel more hospitable towards non-muslim black africans than any arab country like for instance in the glamorous UAE and qatar if you are a non-muslim black african touring who happened to have had a connecting flight in there...believe me in the eyes of those extremely rich conservative arabs we are more than scums darkening their mirror buildings. Thats why this days i prefer EL-AL over emirates and etihad when going to Europe. Which rich middle-eastern arab country lends help to non-muslim african country? Think about it before jumping into emirates busy destroying SAA.

      jaba.kov - 2012-06-25 06:07

      Even though I agree with most you had to say, not to mention that it was the Arabs who first introduces slavery to the world... I rather doubt anyone would use ElAl to connect to Europe with... Israel is under constant threat & intimidation and thus people with foreign passport are asked scores of questions before boarding their flights - over and above any other airlines’ standard safety codes - its reasonable, but many non Israelis will only use ElAl to get to Israel and not as a connection airline to secondary ports.

      faerrab - 2012-06-25 10:32

      Which Western State helps Africa with no trade -off ? Minerals for Weapons or perpetual debt is what the West offers to Africa - West is no better than the ARABs

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