African Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel

Pages 8 (2008 words)
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As the number of refugees and asylum seekers grow, it is observed that Israel has also begun changing its attitude towards the issue. In 2005, nearly a hundred Sudanese from Darfur were apprehended and detained under the Entry to Israel Law.


The Refugee Rights Forum, an aggregation of eight NGOs in the country believes that the number can reach 17,000. All of these have fled their countries due to vicious wars. Darfur is the setting of a violent internal strife in Sudan while Eritrea and Ethiopia are engaged in an armed conflict. Israel’s initial response was to grant refugee status to some 600 Sudanese. On the other hand, around 2,000 refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia were given temporary residence based on humanitarian grounds. The Israeli government believes that granting them refugee status might strain relations with both Ethiopia and Eritrea. The rest of the immigrants continue to live as illegal aliens, which means that they do not enjoy the basic rights and privileges afforded to the citizens and recognized refugees in the country. According to the 1951 International Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, a refuge is a person who… “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”. By this international convention, anyone who is granted a refugee status gains rights and privileges according to international convention and the laws of the host of country. ...
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