Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


African asylum seekers in Israel seek world help

06 January 2014, 17:06

Tel Aviv - Thousands of African asylum seekers demonstrated outside Western embassies in Tel Aviv on Monday in a second day of mass protests against Israel's immigration policies.

The migrants, primarily from Eritrea and Sudan, marched from downtown Tel Aviv to the embassies, calling for help in the face of Israel's refusal to give them refugee status and its detention without trial of hundreds of asylum seekers.

A police spokesperson said the march by some 10 000 migrants was coordinated with police and there were no disturbances.

Under legislation passed on 10 December, authorities can detain illegal immigrants entering Israel for up to a year without trial.

A sprawling detention facility has been opened in the Negev desert to house both them and immigrants already in the country deemed to have disturbed public order.

The demonstrators marched past the Israeli office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, chanting "Wake up UN".

The UNHCR has not been responsible for determining the refugee status of asylum seekers in Israel since 2009, when that authority was transferred to the interior ministry.

UNHCR official Sharon Harel said Israel had not approved a single request for refugee status in all of last year, although an interior ministry spokesperson told AFP it had granted 10.

Harel said the asylum seekers already in Israel - 14 000 from Eritrea and 36 000 from Sudan - received collective protection on arrival and were not returned to their countries of origin.

But the UNHCR condemned Israel for not affording "those with protection needs" with "access to refugee status determination", defining them as "infiltrators" without "taking into account the reasons why they had to flee from their country of origin".

The interior ministry rejected the UN criticism, insisting "all the requests for asylum are examined by the population and immigration authority".

"Any foreign national who has requested political asylum in Israel is protected from expulsion until the examination of their request has been completed", it said.

The right-leaning government has made removal of African migrants who slipped across the desert border with Egypt before the completion of a high-tech barrier last year a priority.

It says their presence in Israel threatens its Jewish character.

Tens of thousands of African migrants held a mass rally in central Tel Aviv on Sunday to mark the launch of a three-day nationwide strike.


Tags israel

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...