World Bulletin / News Desk
Rights groups and activists have expressed outrage at Israel’s decision to order thousands of African migrants to leave the country by April or face imprisonment.
“We have had a history of being migrants, and we find this treatment of African migrants disturbing and racist,” Jessica Sherman, spokesperson for Jewish Voices for a Just Peace (JVJP), said on Wednesday.
Israel’s Interior Ministry announced Tuesday that African migrants -- except the elderly, victims of human trafficking, and children -- will be given $3,500 to return to their home countries or be relocated to a third country such as Rwanda or Uganda.
In November, Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told Rwanda’s New Times that the country had agreed to take 10,000 migrants and asylum-seekers living in Israel.
“We strongly condemn this decision made by Israel. It’s not the first time they are making this call,” Alex Mdakane of the South African Communist Party, a coalition partner of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), told Anadolu Agency.
He said they will be speaking to South African leaders to urge them to take action on the matter. “The maltreatment of migrants in Israel should stop,” he said in a telephone interview.
According to media reports, there are approximately 38,000 migrants living in Israel, most of them from Eritrea and Sudan.
Most migrants claim they are in the country to seek asylum from political persecution and wars back home.