Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) does not understand the refugee situation in Israel and the tribulations of those seeking asylum in the country, an NGO helping African migrants said Thursday.
Orit Marom Advocacy coordinator at ASSAF - the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel - said "Eli Yishai at the Interior Ministry didn’t check any asylum request from the Eritreans and the Sudanese who make 90% of the asylum seekers, therefore there is no basis for him to assess that they are not refugees because he knows nothing about their situation."
Marom added "the government of Israel speaks with two voices, one is the Foreign Ministry which says it is forbidden to return Eritreans to Eritrea because it is ruled by a dictator. The other is this demagoguery of Yishai saying they are migrant workers and we must kick them out, we're tired of this double-talk."
Marom's words came after Yishai told Army Radio on Thursday that the government will do whatever it takes to see that "the last of the infiltrators return to their countries," in reference to 50,000 African migrants in Israel, which include both refugees and economic migrants.