Almost all African migrants in Israel came to the country for economic reasons and are not genuine refugees, according to the new head of a new task force launched by the Interior Ministry to deal with the issue.

Arnon Soffer, a professor of geography at the University of Haifa and the National Defense College, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that “this claim that they are refugees has been put forth by a group of around 10 Israeli lawyers who make a lot of money from these unfortunate people, making claims before the courts that they are refugees.”

He added that while in his estimation there were initially some legitimate refugees from Darfur who came to Israel “all the rest are people who came here to work, just like others like them went to Europe. And what will they say to you, that they came here to work? No, they’ll say they fled their country and it’s up to you to decide what to believe.”

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