Africans Returned to Israel Detention After Protest

Migrants Clash With Police — Sent Back to 'Open' Jail

Crying Shame: An African migrants cries as Israeli police and immigration officers prepare to arrest them during a demonstration outside the Israeli Parliament.
getty images
Crying Shame: An African migrants cries as Israeli police and immigration officers prepare to arrest them during a demonstration outside the Israeli Parliament.

By JTA

Published December 17, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Hundreds of African migrants gathered outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem protesting Israel’s policy of detaining asylum seekers were put on buses back to a detention facility.

The protesters, holding signs reading “I didn’t choose to be a refugee,” “we are in danger, not dangerous” and “you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” launched their demonstration on Tuesday after leaving the Holot detention facility a day earlier.

Police and government officials had threatened to arrest the protesters if they caused disturbances. At the end of the demonstration they were forced by immigration officials on buses taking them back to the detention facility.

About 150 of the migrants had spent Monday night at Kibbutz Nachshon near Jerusalem, where they were provided with food and clothing after walking from the Holot facility in the Negev Desert to Beersheva.

Volunteers had brought them to the kibbutz after immigration officials refused to allow the migrants to board buses for Jerusalem. They walked from the kibbutz to Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The Holot residence is called an “open facility,” with detainees free to leave during the day and with mandatory check-in at night. They are not allowed to hold jobs.

Nearly 350 of the facility’s 484 residents, who were transferred there late last week, have not returned to the detention center in recent days, Haaretz reported.

Some of the protesters have been on a hunger strike since being brought to Holot.

The Knesset last week approved an amendment to the Migrant Law to allow Israeli officials to hold African migrants in prison for up to a year without trial and in the open detention facility indefinitely.

Israel’s Supreme Court had ruled unconstitutional the law allowing officials to hold migrants without trial for three years.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.