A group Sudanese people living in Israel wrote a letter to local officials in Ashdod calling for residents to vote against candidates who would repatriate them, according to a Haaretz newspaper article. The article stated there are approximately 2,000 people from Sudan and Eritrea living in Ashdod.
The letter read in part, "we would like to go back to our country and to be there with our family. The moment we can return to the security and peace of our country, we leave Israel and go home."
The Israeli government has stated that it has been careful not to repatriate residents into war zones. Interior Ministry officials have stated that most of the people are migrant workers and are not technically of refugee status.
The Sudanese and Eritreans have complained of xenophobic attitudes toward them. Local Ashdod residents have complained of loud noise at night and the consumption of alcohol in large groups. Residents also said they feared an increase in crime due to the large quantity of unemployed homeless workers from foreign lands.