Israel scraps plan to deport thousands of African migrants after UN deal – then backtracks hours later
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail|03 April 2018| 16 Rajab 1439
Israel announced a deal with the UN to resettle African migrants in Western nations, lifting the threat of forced expulsions – but put the agreement on hold just hours later.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced the deal on national television, saying Israel agreed to cancel the planned expulsion of tens of thousands of African migrants – many of whom say they are claiming asylum from persecution. Mr Netanyahu said the deal with the United Nations called for sending half of them to Western nations and allowing the rest to remain in Israel.
But late on Monday, Mr. Netanyahu said he was “suspending” the deal in order to discuss the arrangement with Israeli residents of south Tel Aviv areas with large migrant populations.
“After meeting with the representatives I will re-examine the agreement again,” he said.
Under the deal, roughly half of the 35,000 migrants living in Israel would be resettled in the West. But the rest would stay in Israel.
The migrant community is concentrated in south Tel Aviv, angering longtime Israeli residents of the working-class area. Israeli hardliners had criticised the deal for allowing so many migrants to remain.
The late-night turnaround threw into limbo the surprise agreement, which had finally offered a solution to an issue that has divided Israel for a decade. The deportation plan had been widely criticised at home and abroad, even by some of Israel’s closest supporters.
“It’s a good agreement,” Mr. Netanyahu told reporters earlier in the day. “It enables us to solve this problem in a way that serves, protects the interests of the state of Israel and gives a solution to the residents of southern Tel Aviv and other neighbourhoods, and also for the people who came into Israel.”
Most of the African migrants are from war-torn Sudan and Eritrea, the latter having one of the world’s worst human rights records. The migrants say they are asylum-seekers fleeing danger and persecution, while Israeli leaders have claimed they are merely job seekers.
Source – Independent
Pic Cred – Ctv news