Ivory Coast migrants given more time to leave

Interior Ministry says it will not arrest citizens of the Ivory Coast illegally residing in Israel until July 16.

July 2, 2012 01:32
1 minute read.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai

Interior Minister Eli Yishai 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The Interior Ministry said Sunday that it will not arrest citizens of the Ivory Coast illegally residing in Israel until July 16, in order to give those looking to leave willingly more time to do so.

Those who agree to leave on their own before the 16th will receive $500 per adult and $100 per child.

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Israel canceled group protection for Ivorians on January 31, but NGOs petitioned the state to allow them to stay in the country, leading to a legal struggle that stretched on for months.

Infiltrators, starting now, will be thrown directly into jail, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said last Thursday, before adding that the Eritrean and Sudanese migrants will all eventually be thrown out of the country.

“You have two weeks to leave. Whoever does so will be eligible for a subsidy. Whoever does not will be thrown out,” Yishai said.

The number of Ivorians in Israel is estimated to be between a few hundred and 2,000.

Israel drew criticism for the scenes of arrests of South Sudanese last month, which began less than three days after the Jerusalem District Court overruled a petition against their deportations. The government in Juba issued an official complaint with the Foreign Ministry calling on Israel to not broadcast the deportations and to make sure to carry out the arrests in a dignified fashion.

The Population, Immigration and Border Authority said this time around with the Ivorians, in order to avoid the media circus and the confusion on the part of those facing deportations, they decided to give them an extra two weeks – until July 16 – to agree to leave on their own, even though technically Israel can deport them beginning on Monday.

PIBA announced on Sunday morning that an additional deportation flight will take off from Israel on Monday afternoon to fly 114 adults and 76 children who have willfully agreed to leave Israel for South Sudan. The flight will bring the total to 460 South Sudanese expelled since the deportations began in June.

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