Israel grants refugees residency status

200 Sudanese refugees granted residency status in Israel.

David Rosenberg,

Sudanese in Tel Aviv
Sudanese in Tel Aviv
Flash 90

Two hundred Sudanese nationals residing in Israel will receive residency status, following a petition to a Tel Aviv district court.

Some 8,000 Sudanese citizens from the Darfur region illegally immigrated to Israel in recent years, most of them crossing Israel’s border with the Sinai Peninsula prior to the completion of the Negev-Sinai border fence.

The Interior Ministry granted 200 petitioners residency status, allowing them to receive laissez-passer passports and leave or reenter the country at will, out of “humanitarian concerns”, Yediot Ahronot reported Thursday.

Earlier, the court ordered the Interior Ministry to issue work permits for the petitioners, allowing them to work in Israel while their claims for asylum were being examined.

The residency status issued to the 200 petitioners is not limited to any set period of time, though the state does reserve the right to revoke it.

The decision to issue residency marks the first time in 10 years the state has granted such a status en masse to those claiming asylum.