Israel Plays Dial-a-Nation To Oust African Refugees

Claims Eritreans Are Really Ethiopian — and Deportable


By Ilan Lior (Haaretz)

Published August 26, 2013.

The Interior Ministry is challenging asylum claims by Eritreans who, it says, are Ethiopian and thus eligible for deportation. A Central District Court judge has ruled in favor of the state in 18 out of 19 petitions against the ministry’s classification.

Eritrean citizens in Israel are granted collective ‘temporary protection’ and are not deported to Eritrea. There are currently 36,067 Eritreans in Israel, according to Border and Immigration Authority data.

In recent months, the state has increased its efforts to expel Eritrean and Sudanese citizens. Most of the effort is focused on convincing migrants to sign controversial ‘consent’ forms stating they agree to return. Another method is to classify Eritreans as Ethiopian, in spite of their insistence that they are Eritrean. Most African migrants do not have official documents, with the final citizenship determination being made by the Interior Ministry, based on a personal interview.

Last month, Judge Avraham Yaakov, Deputy President of the Central District Court, ruled in 19 petitions against the classifications of the Interior Ministry. Only in one case did the judge accept the petition and reverse the state’s classification.

For more go to Haaretz



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