Study: Israel accepts 0.36% of asylum requests

Human rights groups slam Israel for accepting far fewer migrants than Western average - but is it justified?

Tova Dvorin,

Illegal African immigrants in Tel Aviv
Illegal African immigrants in Tel Aviv
Flash 90

Three organizations released a controversial report on the state of Israel's asylum and immigration policy Wednesday, ahead of Migrants' Day and amid discord over the status of illegal immigrants. 

The Center for Refugees and Immigrants, ACRI and Physicians for Human Rights' report analyzed data from the Interior Ministry over the past year, and concluded that Israel lacks a clear policy regarding asylum-seekers. 

Over 2015, the Ministry approved 45 asylum requests and rejected 12,175, it said, a 0.36% recognition rate - compared to the 10%-40% average in other Western countries. 

Of particular criticism were Israel's policy toward Darfur - which Israel has recognized as a country which has experienced genocide, but will not recognize Darfur nationals as refugees. Fewer than 1% of Eritreans who apply for asylum in Israel are accepted as well, vs. a 81.9% global average. 

The report also shows that many asylum seekers are denied because of inability to show evidence of persecution, and it is also the case when the presentation of such evidence is not possible.

The findings highlight controversy in Israel over the status of 'refugee', at a time when illegal infiltration continues to rise - and over concerns about the security risks of accepting migrants throughout much of Europe. 

Official statistics in Israel have revealed the vast majority of infiltrators - most of whom hail from Eritrea - are economic migrants and not refugees as claimed by leftist groups, in an assessment that echoes findings of other countries.

But leftist and human-rights groups continue to claim that Israel is being discriminatory against illegal aliens and asylum-seekers, despite both the economic migrant issue and the facts on the ground: that illegal immigrants have been shown repeatedly to be responsible for a serious hike in violent crime in Tel Aviv and Eilat.




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