Israel Strikes Deal to Deport Illegal African Immigrants: Report
Israel has struck a deal to deport up to 2,000 illegal Eritrean immigrants to an unnamed African country in return for supplying it with military aid, daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot said on Wednesday.
The paper said that, under an agreement in principle, the country will take 1,500-2,000 Eritreans currently in Israel in exchange for military, technological and agricultural aid.
On Monday, a high-ranking Israeli official told the Supreme Court an agreement was about to be reached with the country in question for the deportation of Eritrean immigrants.
According to Yediot, while the country was not named, the understandings were cobbled together by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's special envoy, Haggai Hadas, after he visited a number of countries in the past two months, including Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda.
Of some 60,000 illegal African immigrants in Israel -- more than half of whom are from Eritrea -- around 2,000 are being held in a detention centre.
They have applied for refugee status, but their requests have yet to be processed.
The scores of illegal Eritrean and Sudanese infiltrators, who enter Israel to find employment, have sparked protests in Israeli society and have increased concerns among residents of southern Tel Aviv over the rise in violent attacks caused by the infiltration of foreigners.