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The purge: Israel gives African migrants two options: leave or jail

in Africa & the Diaspora/Highlights/World Affairs by

In Israel, government officials prepare to expel some 40,000 African migrants in a deportation agenda profiling Sub-Saharan migrants.

According to the Israeli government, Africans have 90 days to leave voluntarily or face jail time.

Several aspects of the plan show that Africans will be transported to Rwanda or Uganda if they rely on Israel to assist in their departure.

Photo credit: Matthew Spiteri

Others voice concerns with this schema, as some say Africans who are returned to home countries are targeted and killed. In other cases, there are claims that deportees are stripped of their documents before leaving and offered no protections.

Confiscating documentation raises more issues, in light of recent news of a slave trade selling Sub-Saharan Africans who attempt to travel through Libya to migrate to Europe.

For Africans leaving Israel, there are reports that Africans who leave are funneled trough the slave system too.

Another issue with the sites of relocation are that most migrants do not originate from the area that Israel plans to drop them.

A bulk facing deportation are Eritreans and Sudanese refugees seeking asylum from countries experiencing years of tumultuous leadership and civil war.

Using dangerous methods to make it into Israel, African refugees rely on smugglers or try to take the journey themselves. Once they get to the border, they incur other dangers. At times, Israel guards shoot unarmed asylum seekers.

However, Israeli officials claim that those who entered seek economic opportunity rather than flee due to persecution or conflict.

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