Sudanese detained after crossing southern border 311 (R).
(photo credit: Yonathan Weitzman / Reuters)
Israel is in talks with the government of South Sudan to build a “city ” to help
acclimate South Sudanese migrants who have returned from Israel, the Interior
Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.
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First reported in Calcalist, the city
would be a massive resettlement facility meant to absorb returning African
migrants, including those not originally from Sudan.
Africans would be given a one-time reacclimization stipend from the Israeli
government, which currently grants each African returning to South Sudan a
one-time payment of $500.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said
Tuesday that Interior Minister Eli Yishai “will do all that he can to get them
[African migrants] out of Israel, using every path possible through his
He said that Israel and South Sudan have been carrying on
negotiations for a long time and that Israel “has 52,000 infiltrators, we can’t
go on like this.”
In regard to the city for infiltrators, he said that
the two governments have discussed the project at length and Yishai is willing
to use the ministry’s funds to advance it.
At the end of 2010, the
Population, Immigration and Borders Authority released a report stating that the
number of illegal African migrants in Israel is 33,273 as of November 2010. The
majority of them are from Eritrea, while those hailing from South Sudan are
estimated at around 3,000.
Tuesday’s report in Calcalist
came less than a
week after South Sudan President Salva Kiir was in Jerusalem to meet with
Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The two spoke at
length about the migrant issue, as well as the strengthening of military and
diplomatic ties between Jerusalem and Juba.