Holot detention center completes release of 1,200 African migrants

Representatives of hotels in the Dead Sea area arrive at the detention centers as the migrants are due to be released in order to recruit a few dozen of them for jobs.

By
August 26, 2015 19:13
2 minute read.
The Holot Detention Facility in the Negev.

The Holot Detention Facility in the Negev.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The state on Wednesday completed the release of 1,200 African migrants from detention centers in the South, two weeks after the High Court of Justice invalidated the state’s 20-month detention period for migrants as unconstitutional for being disproportionately long.

The facilities had released approximately 600 migrants on Tuesday and released the remaining approximately 600 migrants designated for release on Wednesday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The court had also partially rejected the petition against the law, ruling that jailing migrants at the Holot detention facility in the Negev in and of itself could be constitutional if the maximum detention period was shorter, with a hint that 12 months might pass muster.

Following the discharge process – which involves providing released migrants with supplies, financial compensation and documentation, and medical certificates for those who need – authorities will provide the asylum-seekers with a release letter, a sandwich and a soft drink.

On Sunday, Interior Minister Silvan Shalom banned the 1,200 now released African migrants from working and living in Tel Aviv or Eilat.

The scope of the restriction and whether it will apply to all hours of the day or just overnight was unclear.

Israel Radio reported on Wednesday that representatives of hotels in the Dead Sea area arrived at the detention centers Wednesday morning as the migrants were due to be released in order to recruit a few dozen of them for jobs. 



Spokeswoman Anat Ovadia for the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants said the release and the idea of dispersing them could have been a major positive move by the state, but that it became negative since there was no plan for what will happen to the migrants.

Asked where most of the migrants would go in light of the restriction against living in Tel Aviv and Eilat, Ovadia said many still did not know where they would end up.

She said there were some lucky ones who formerly worked in hotels in Eilat where the hotel chain was assisting them get jobs within the chain in new areas such as at the Dead Sea or in Jerusalem, but added most were not so fortunate.

Most would take a bus from the detention centers to Beersheba and then try to figure out where they could find jobs, Ovadia said.

The overwhelming majority of the approximately 50,000 African migrants in Israel live in Tel Aviv, and a disproportionately large concentration have for years lived in Eilat, due to the availability of jobs in the hospitality industry and because of its proximity to the Egypt border, where they entered Israel. Most of Israel’s illegal African migrants are from Eritrea or Sudan, and cannot be deported due to fear that they could face persecution if returned or an absence of diplomatic relations with Israel.

Ben Hartman contributed to this report.

Related Content

August 17, 2018
Netanyahu interrogated for four hours in Case 4000 media bribery probe

By TAMARA ZIEVE