Photo: Motti Kimchi
Illegal African migrants
Photo: Motti Kimchi
State seeks more time to decide on migrant deportations
High Court asked by state for 2-week extension to submit response to two petitions seeking to block Israel's deportation program of mainly Eritrean and Sudanese illegal migrants; activists oppose state's claim that it has to provide a 'confidential document' to the court justifying delaying delay.
The state requested from the High Court of Justice (HCJ) Monday a two week extension to reply to a petition seeking to block a government-led plan to deport illegal African migrants from Israel, asking to shift the deadline to April 9.



During this time, the state said, the temporary injunction issued by the court to freeze the plan to deport the migrants will remain in place.


Should the state's request be accepted, expulsion will not begin on April 1 as planned.


 (Photo: EPA)
(Photo: EPA)


The Population and Immigration Authority called at the beginning of the year on migrants from Sudan and Eritrea to leave "to their country or to a third country," meaning Rwanda or Uganda. Those who leave by the end of March will be given $3,500, along with airfare and other incentives.


The ultimatum is part of a large-scale campaign to remove 42,000 illegal African migrants from Israel.


The latest request also noted that the extension is being sought in order “to allow for the senior legal and political echelons to consider the subject more closely."


In addition, the state asked to submit to the court on Monday a confidential document that it said will “present an additional reason of weight that underlies the extension request that can be presented to the court only.”


The request was filed in response to two separate petitions against the government’s program to deport the migrants, thousands of whom made their way into Israel via its once porous southern border.


 (Photo: Yariv Katz)
(Photo: Yariv Katz)


The first was submitted by 119 human rights activists while the second was filed by attorney Avigdor Feldman who said in response to the state’s request that he agreed with the extension but opposed the presentation of a confidential document.


Attorney Itay Mack, who represented the 119 petitioners, wrote in response to the latest request that the impression was being given that the state was not prepared for the mass deportations.


“There is a slender chance that the respondents will get an extension in light of the Passover holiday. The respondents are even asking to submit a confidential document that is at the heart, so they claim, of their request. It can be surmised that this is another thing on which the Rwanadan dictatorship has sought clarification before they state their position,” Mack said.


The lawyer representing the activists requested that the court immediately release the 280 migrants who have been imprisoned in Saharonim Prison after refusing to “voluntarily leave” and are set for deportation.


“Given the fact that the respondents did not meet the deadline by which they were obligated, there is no justice whatsoever in the prisoners in Saharonim Prison becoming scapegoats for the respondents and in waiting there without any actual time frame on the horizon of when they are going to Rwanda, while another 40,000 asylum seekers are not imprisoned.”


“It is inconceivable that the Jewish state of Israel will celebrate its freedom in a time when a few hundred asylum seekers are languishing in prison until the state finds it appropriate to submit its updated position,” Mack added.


The group “Stop the deportation” responded to the request, saying that it “proved that there was never an apparatus for ensuring the safety of the deportees. It cannot be that at a time when the state is requesting an extension, men and women are imprisoned in Saharonim Prison without any time limit on the injustice.”


פרסום ראשון: 03.26.18, 16:33
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