Background: Refugees await decision on their status

The Sudanese fear prosecution in their country of origin because of their sojourn in Israel.

July 12, 2007 22:55
1 minute read.
jpost services and tools

jp.services2. (photo credit: )


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 analysis 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


According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1,250 Sudanese refugees have entered Israel in the past six months. Of those, 230, or 18 percent, are from Darfur, where a government-supported genocide is in progress. The UNHCR has granted all of these Sudanese the same status, recognizing them as "sur place" refugees, until their individual claims are evaluated. "Sur place" means "on the place" in French. These refugees, unlike the usual ones, attain refugee status after departure from their countries of habitual residence. Either because of events in their country of origin or as a result of the refugees' activities in the host country, they are in fear of prosecution, entitling them to the status of refugees. Micki Bavly, the UNHCR's Israel representative, says that whether or not the Sudanese refugees were prosecuted in Sudan, they are now in fear of prosecution in their country of origin because of their sojourn in Israel. Now that the refugees are in its jurisdiction, Israel, which joined the UNHCR in 2002, is prohibited by UNHCR codes to return them to their country of origin. But, according to the UNHCR, Israel is allowed to send the "sur place" refugees to Egypt or to any other country that is not their country of origin. Bavly says Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plan is to return to Egypt those who have no personal claims to refugee status, something that is allowed under UNHCR rules. For the moment, the refugees must wait for a decision on their status. "They are coming from an enemy country according to Israeli law. As such, Israel refuses to keep them but does not send them back to their country of origin. Although the law says they have to be detained, most of them have been released and are working as well as earning a living, awaiting a decision," Bavly says.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town