Israel Asylum Laws
The 50,000-plus African refugees now in Israel are facing an assault on their rights to asylum and access to essential services.
The Israeli political establishment has publicly decried the presence of African asylum seekers, calling them “infiltrators.” The Israeli parliament has approved a new law that allows for “undocumented” immigrants from Africa to be detained for a year — without trial — and has built a concentration camp in the Negev desert while arrangements are made for their deportation.
Even though asylum seekers make up less than 1 percent of the population, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has argued that Africans threaten “the social fabric of society” and the “Jewish and democratic character of the country.”
Human rights groups worry that easing the process of deporting African migrants in Israel could put them under threat if they returned to their countries of origin.