Yehonatan Yakubowicz from the Center for Israeli Immigration Policy spoke with Erel Segal and Yariv Oppenheimer on 103FM about the significance of the normalization agreement with Sudan and its implications for the Sudanese infiltrators in Israel.
Yakubowicz explained that until the signing of the peace agreement with Sudan, "the main claim about the inability to return to Sudan is that there are no diplomatic ties. Now, in light of the peace agreement and the normalization of relations between the two countries, the claim is taken off the table and the way is paved for the return of those who do not have an individual cause of refuge."
He noted that today "there are over 6,000 Sudanese infiltrators [in Israel]. The whole Western world is returning people to Sudan who are not of Darfurian origin. In recent years, Israel is the only one that could not do so and out of 17,000 infiltrators only 4,500 claim to be from Darfur. Western countries have begun to bring them back in recent years, meaning that even those who claim to be Darfurians in Israel, with the exception of prominent regime opponents, can return, so this agreement has far-reaching implications for those Sudanese infiltrators who are here."
He added: "I'm not in favor of sending them all, I'm really not in favor of sending them all. I'm in favor of examining asylum applications, and in favor of tools like the 'Deposit Law' that led to the return of over 5,000 Sudanese, to encourage them to leave. That's exactly what recognized refugees get. "
"I was in favor of examining the requests quickly, but I would also recommend rejecting most of the requests because the conflict in Darfur has been at a low ebb for almost two decades. In Israel there were times when more people died from our conflict than in Darfur, so it is no problem to return to Darfur today," he explained.