The Immigration Authority
announced Friday that it would extend the time period allotted for South Sudanese
migrants in Israel
to leave voluntarily in exchange for €1,000 in compensation.
The window was supposed to have closed Thursday, and the authority did not specify how long it would remain open.
"In light of the great number of requests to leave voluntarily,
it has been decided to extend the deadline for South Sudanese to leave of their own will and receive financial assistance," the authority said.
The authority's announcement came on the heels of a meeting Thursday between Interior Ministry Eli Yishai
and a delegation from South Sudan in which the South Sudanese requested more time for their citizens to leave freely.
The South Sudanese delegation at the Interior Ministry (Photo: Uria Tadmor)
Members of the delegation also met with some 20 South Sudanese migrants.
Gabriel Kaver (29) called his meeting with the delegation "a disappointment."
"God has no mercy on us and our story here will end badly, with arrests and prison and suffering," he said.
The delegation is scheduled to meet with South Sudanese asylum-seekers in Tel Aviv later
Friday. Kaver, for his part, has no great hope for these meetings. He says that the delegation is helpless in the face of the Israeli government's decisions.
"Eli Yishai told them that the government had already made its decision and that it had the support of the public. Members of the (South Sudanese) community understand that their fate is sealed," he said.
According to figures from the Immigration Authority, some 300 South Sudanese have thus far asked to leave Israel voluntarily. Organizations dedicated to aiding the community, however, say that this isn't "voluntary," but rather a forced deportation.
Over 600 infiltrators have crossed the border this month and been transferred to the Saharonim Prison
near Ketziot. Some, who entered Israel before enforcement of the new Infiltrators Law began, have already been released, creating a comedy of the absurd in which new migrants arrive in Tel Aviv as the immigration police are rounding up refugee-seekers from South Sudan already in the city.
The infiltrators who crossed the border after the new law took effect remain in Saharonim, where – according to the Immigration Authority – they will remain for up to three years.
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