Israel to Deport African Migrants to Uganda

August 30, 2013



Israel has struck a deal to deport tens of thousands of illegal African migrants to Uganda, Haaretz newspaper reported on Friday.

It said that a court gag order barring identification of the destination country had been lifted at its request, but that the government still refused to give any details of the deal.

Citing unnamed sources, the paper said Israel would finance the migrants’ flights to Uganda and their resettlement there and would apparently give each person $1,500 in pocket money.

Israeli immigration authorities say there are about 55,000 illegal African migrants in the country. Many came by foot through Egypt and slipping through the formerly porous border into Israel, which is now being sealed by a sophisticated system of walls and electronic fences.

In 2012, Israel launched a crackdown, rounding up and deporting 3,920 illegals.

Another 2,000 are being held in a detention centre. They have applied for refugee status, but their requests have yet to be processed.

The government said that while 2,295 people crossed the border illegally in January 2012, only 36 got across in the first part of December.

Rising tensions over the growing number of illegal immigrants exploded into violence in May when a protest in south Tel Aviv turned ugly, with demonstrators smashing African shops and property, chanting “Blacks out!”

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