Kigali insists it wants no part in the controversial plan.Letters offering a plane ticket and $3,500 (€2,800) on February 4th reached the first of what Israeli newspaper Haaretz said were between 15,000 to 20,000 African migrants. Israel's immigration authority said the notices were delivered only to single men, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. They were told to leave by late March or face jail and eventual expulsion.The plan to send them to an unnamed African country under a secret agreement was announced on January 3rd by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His government classes the asylum seekers as economic migrants, using the term “infiltrators.” Some have lived in Israel for more than a decade.Some Israeli airline pilots have reportedly said they will not fly forced deportees. The UN refugee agency has called on Israel's cabinet to scrap the plan, calling it incoherent and unsafe. Uganda and Rwanda have denied making a deal with Israel to accept deported migrants.In January, Holocaust survivors in an open letter urged Netanyahu to reconsider, and academics published a petition, saying the deportations would damage Israel's image as a refuge for Jewish migrants.Many of the affected asylum seekers have said they prefer Israeli imprisonment over returning
Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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