Update: UNHCR blasts Israel’s treatment of would-be “refugees” (here). So where is the blast at Saudi Arabia?
Those paragons of Muslim charity in Saudi Arabia can deport Africans by the thousands with no public outcry, yet, Israel is called evil for not giving asylum to tens of thousands of Africans who would soon turn Tel Aviv into Marseille! The double standard is outrageous, and heck S.A. actually has the land to accommodate their fellow Muslims.
Over 20,000 asylum seekers, mostly from Eritrea, assembled in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square Sunday morning to demand recognition as refugees. Across Israel, asylum seekers went on a three-day strike, and more protests were planned.
In recent weeks, the government stepped up the arrest and imprisonment of African asylum seekers who entered the state without permits. Several months ago, Israel’s High Court of Justice struck down a law authorizing the state to lock up for three years any person who entered the country illegally, and in some cases, indefinitely. But last month the Knesset passed a new law, authorizing the state to hold asylum seekers in “closed” prisons for a year. A new “open” holding facility named “Holot” began operating in the desert, where asylum seekers can be held indefinitely until their eventual deportation.
The government has stepped up enforcement measures against Israeli businesses that employ asylum seekers in recent weeks and months and municipalities have been shutting down shops and restaurants owned by Africans, adding to a feeling of despair in the asylum seeker community.
The general strike is the latest step in the African protest campaign against the recent measures.
There is more, go to 972Mag for the story and especially the photos.
Aljazeera puts the number of protesters at 30,000, here, called the largest “migrant rally” in Israel’s history.
See our category Israel and refugees for more on the issue.