Interior Minister Eli Yishai
announced on Tuesday the adoption of an expert committee's recommendations regarding African
Yishai confirmed for the first time that more than 2,000 Sudanese
and dozens of Eritrean
asylum-seekers have left Israel
Yishai explained that there is no difference between South Sudan,
Eritrea and North Sudan, though the UN's
position is that citizens of these countries cannot be forcefully returned to them, as their lives would be in danger.
Nevertheless, Yishai clarified that the deported asylum-seekers "Left Israel of their own accord" but refused to divulge how many of them signed the "voluntary departure forms"
while detained in Israeli jails, a procedure illegal according to international law.
According to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, to which Israel is a signatory, the Sudanese and Eritrean citizens cannot be deported from Israel.
The committee, headed by Prof. Arnon Sofer, formulated a plan to prevent infiltration of Israeli territory by constructing new fences along the Jordanian
border, bolstering the IDF
forces along the borders and limiting the rights groups which wait for infiltrators at the fences.
"The Leftist organizations are agitating and inciting," Prof. Sofer said, adding that an end should be put to their activities.
Furthermore, the committee recommended sending the 65,000 asylum-seekers
currently in Israel to state holding facilities.
Similar incarceration plans have been promoted by the Interior Minister before, but were blocked by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein due to international law considerations.
Regarding deportation, the committee recommended to "Follow the status of the home-countries, and not always accept the UN's position."
It was further recommended to find a third country to which the asylum-seekers could be deported. Yishai promised such countries "Will soon be found," despite failed attempts by the Foreign Ministry
to do so in 2012.
"The actions taken during my time as interior minister showed that Israel is no longer a destination for the infiltrators of the world," Yishai said.
According to Prof. Sofer, "If Israel will not shut itself within giant walls and defend them ferociously the Zionist
Israel will fade away."
"It will be terminated not by bombs but by a demographic, economic change."
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