Israel can resume its deportation of illegal work immigrants from Eritrea after the African country’s rapprochement with neighboring Ethiopia, Shaked said.
By: World Israel News Staff
Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked said Israel can resume its deportation of illegal work immigrants from Eritrea after the African country’s rapprochement with neighboring Ethiopia.
Eritrea has canceled its mandatory unlimited military draft, and so the migrants in Israel are no longer under such a threat, she noted.
An Israeli court in February ruled that desertion from the Eritrean army is grounds for receiving refugee status in the country.
“If, following the agreement, the duty to enlist is canceled, Israel will be able to return the infiltrators to Eritrea, which is great news for the residents of south Tel Aviv,” she said at a Jewish Home party conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
The majority of migrants from Eritrea are infiltrators who came to Israel for economic reasons. Some have tried to depict them as “refugees.”
Some Eritreans have fled the country to avoid military conscription, which has been criticized by the United Nations Human Rights Council as a severe human rights violation.
Military service in Eritrea is mandatory and usually involves intense physical labor. Furthermore, Eritrean soldiers have no predetermined discharge date, and their service often lasts for decades. Many Western countries consider the dangers facing deserters should they return to Eritrea sufficient cause for granting refugee status.
Israel’s interior minister is reportedly reexamining the option of expelling African asylum seekers to Eritrea and Sudan in the wake of the peace treaty signed last month between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
According to the interior ministry, there are around 42,000 African migrants in Israel, half of them children and women or men with families.
About 72 percent of the migrants are Eritrean and 20 percent are Sudanese.