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By Inna Lazareva
TEL AVIV, Nov 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the concrete bowels of a vast bus station in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, a group of children gathers in the evening to play and dance to songs blaring from a CD player.
Their parents are African migrants who work until late, struggling to earn enough to put food on the table.
While their children have access to state education in Israel, they face hardships, support workers said.
The Israeli government’s controversial plan to initiate the forced deportation of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers has been delayed, while hundreds of those affected remain detained in Israeli prisons over the Passover holiday weekend.
The delay was announced after mass protests last week, during which 25,000 people took to the streets of Tel Aviv to denounce the policy of ordering asylum seekers to leave Israel for unnamed destination in Africa in exchange for €2,800 and a plane ticket. Those who refuse deportation are detained indefinitely in Saharonim prison.
IsraAID, Israel's largest civil society humanitarian aid organization, is adding its voice to the many businesses, organizations, politicians, layleaders, and concerned citizens requesting from the Israeli government to reconsider its policy towards asylum seekers.*
The last few weeks have seen an encouraging surge in the opposition to the government’s decision to deport asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea who have been living in Israel for over a decade.
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR is again appealing to Israel to halt its policy of relocating Eritreans and Sudanese to sub-Saharan Africa. This is after some 80 cases were identified in which people relocated by Israel risked their lives by taking dangerous onward journeys to Europe via Libya.
A decade has gone by since the first African asylum seekers arrived in Israel. Still, the Ministry of Health has failed to formulate a comprehensive policy to regulate their access to health services. The following report details the costs of this failure - the health, moral and economic cost of the lack of healthcare policy for asylum seekers. It then offers an alternative: a sustainable solution for that population that includes a state-sponsored insurance arrangement.
Robel Tesfahannes spends his days looking for work in Juba. An Eritrean who recently arrived in South Sudan after six years in Tel Aviv, Tesfahannes is one of a new wave of refugees forced out of Israel by the country’s increasingly tough stance towards migrants.
He is covered in tattoos, including a message on his right arm to Israelis: “I hate them but I can’t live without them.” Tesfahannes says that with “no money I have no aims. But you have to keep moving, always. I live risk to risk.”
TEL AVIV, 21 November 2012 (IRIN) - The Israeli government says a hardening of migration policy has caused a 90 percent drop in arrivals in the last few months, from around 2,000 in May to 122 in September.
Under an updated Anti-Infiltration law passed in January, all illegal border crossers are labelled “infiltrators” and can be detained for up to three years.