Eritrean migrants protesting 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
As of September 13, African migrants will no longer be able to transfer money
out of the country following the signing of a new guideline by Interior Minister
Gideon Sa’ar on Monday.
The Interior Ministry said that Sa’ar also will
help provide the tools to assist police in finding and charging Israelis who
assist African migrants in transferring money abroad.
The move, which was
approved by the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee, allows for migrants
to take funds out of Israel only when they leave the country, and only equal to
a maximum of the Israeli minimum wage multiplied by the number of months they
were in the country.
Also, last week Sa’ar said that Israel would begin
deporting Eritrean and Sudanese migrants beginning after the High Holy Days. It
was also revealed on Thursday that Uganda is the African country
finalized a deal with Israel to absorb thousands of African migrants and/or
allow them to use its territory as a transit zone.
The deal has been
denied by the Ugandan Foreign Ministry.
Sa’ar has said that the new
regulation is the latest in a series of steps Israel has taken to reduce the
incentive for African migrants to come to Israel or stay in the
These include the amendment to the Law to Prevent Infiltration,
which allows indefinitely imprisoning migrants who have entered the country
On Sunday, the Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority
said that 168 African migrants voluntarily left the country in August, and that
none had entered Israel, as opposed to 193 who entered the country last
They would not say how many of those 168 decided to leave while
imprisoned in Israeli detention centers. Opponents of the voluntary returns say
that agreeing to return cannot be given with consent if the only alternative is