Immigration authorities check Africans' IDs 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
Plans to use a third party African country as a destination and a transit
country for deported African migrants will be a gradual, multi-year process, and
the details of which African state is involved cannot be revealed, a
representative of the state told the High Court on Sunday.
representative, former Mossad official Hagai Hadas, was appointed by Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in December to spearhead the state’s goal of sending
African migrants back home or to third countries willing to absorb
Last week, after a state attorney told the court that a third
country had been found that had agreed to absorb Eritrean refugees, the court
ordered the state to issue an explanation of the plan within a week.
Sunday, Hadas addressed the court, saying that Israel was in talks with four
African countries, and that one had agreed both to absorb migrants and to allow
them to be deported back to their home countries by way of their
Hadas said because of the sensitivity of the issue he could
not reveal which country had agreed to the plan, but said that the migrants
would return on commercial flights gradually over a few years. He also didn’t
reveal what sort of promises had been made to the country in order to secure the
On Monday, attorney Yonatan Berman of the Clinic for Migrants’
Rights at the Academic Center of Law and Business in Ramat Gan, who represented
the petitioners in their case before the High Court against the “Infiltrators
said in response to Hadas’s statement that “the formal ‘agreement’
announced confidently in the courtroom turns out to be an abstract general
Hadas’s affidavit indicates that what was referred to as
an agreement is in fact a multi-year program, and that it is unclear when, if at
all, this program will be put into practice, or to whom it will apply. This is
nothing more than a smokescreen designed to sanction the prolonged detention of
asylum seekers in Israel.”
Also Monday, MK Miri Regev (Likud), chairwoman
of the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, expressed her desire
to see “the Saharonim facility filled with 7,000 infiltrators.”
statement came during a hearing on the African migrants issue, in which she and
other government officials present expressed their lament that the
“anti-infiltration law” is, in their words, not being enforced and that the
detention centers built in the South to house arrested illegal migrants are not
being sufficiently utilized.
During the meeting she also expressed her
desire to see proposed plans carried out to disperse the migrant population
across Israel, to ease up the high concentration of migrants in south Tel Aviv.