sudanese refugees 224.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Thirty Sudanese refugees who arrived in Israel on Sunday spent more than 10 hours awaiting housing after the Ketziot Prison Facility announced that it had run out of room.
The refugees, who were dropped off at a road-stop near the prison, sat in the mid-day sun for four hours before local officials notified Ketziot of their location. Ketziot, however, ran out of space last week.
"We have been completely full since last week. We notified the authorities of this. As soon as space opens up we can take in more," said an Israel Prison Service (IPS) spokeswoman.
For the past month, Ketziot has housed several hundred female refugees and their children in temporary caravans, while the male refugees were kept in a separate prison wing. In a lot adjacent to the prison, construction is underway for a tent city that can house nearly 1,000 refugees, said the IPS.
That tent city will only reopen next week, leaving refugees who arrive in the interim in limbo, said organizations working with the refugees.
Nearly 100 refugees have already been moved to Beit Hachayal in Beersheba. While several hundred more can be housed in shelters around the Negev, volunteers who have been working with the refugees said they are tired of picking up the slack from the government.
"The government has decided that it is ok to fall back on the private citizens when it comes to the refugees. We are tired. We have been providing food and shelter for the refugees for nearly a year now. The government said it would take responsibility, it announced they were moving them to Ketziot - fine, let them figure it out if the tent city isn't ready yet," said Reut Gallil, a Beersheba-based volunteer.