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article imageIsrael to deport Ethiopian and south Sudanese immigrants

By Anne Sewell     Jul 17, 2012 in World
Israeli officials have begun arresting what is expected to be tens of thousands of legitimate African refugees, and deporting them to detention camps.
Israel has been a signatory of the 1951 International Refugee Convention since 1954.
In the video above, Press TV interviewed Alfred Lambremont Webre, human rights and international lawyer, about the issue of Israel's violation against the rights of the collective black refugee population that has legitimately entered Israel under the Refugee Convention from politically destabilized countries.
In the first stage of a controversial "emergency plan", Israel is aiming to intern and deport an estimated 60,000 African immigrants.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu apparently believes that immigrants are swamping his country and has claimed that the African migrants “are seen by many Israelis as a law and order issue and even a threat to the long-term viability of the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu also promised that in order to stop the hiring of illegal Africans, this legislation will be strictly enforced.
Authorities in Israel have offered to give 1,000 euros to any African who readily agrees to leave within five days. Media states that some immigrants have agreed, but others are going to be repatriated by force.
According to a senior immigration official, Yossi Edelstein, “We have arrested about 140 infiltrators up until last night, the main portion of who are South Sudanese.” He said this on Israel Radio, who are reporting that South Sudan has filed a formal protest with Israel over its treatment of the issue of the illegal infiltrators.
According to Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai, among the first to be deported will be 1,500 refugees from South Sudan, who fled the civil war that split their country.
“The next stage is the removal from Israel of all the infiltrators from Eritrea and Sudan, whose number comes close to 50,000 people,” the Interior Minister said.
Still, the deportation is legally questionable and the Interior Ministry admits it. “At the moment, we are permitted only to deport from Israel the citizens of South Sudan and the Ivory Coast,” Interior Minister Eli Yishai said.
This raises concerns about those Africans that are going to be detained and put into camps pending deportation. But for Minister Eli Yishai who also heads of the Shas religious party saying “no” to alien deportation plans means “shelving the declaration of independence, and the end of the Zionist dream.”
The Israeli parliament is also fueling anti-African rhetoric. Parliamentarians in the Knesset do not hesitate to label Africans “cancer” and the “AIDS to Israeli people”.
The latest opinion poll in Israel showed that 52% of Israelis agree that Africans pose a threat to Israel.
However, according to a senior police commander David Gez, despite claims of raging crime in sections of south Tel Aviv where the Africans live, the actual crime level among migrants is much lower than among Israelis.
More about Israel, Sudan, Immigrants, Sudanese, War
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