Three NGOs on Sunday published a blistering joint report rejecting Israeli arguments against accepting migrants and criticizing the government for using force to deter the Africans from entering Israel.
The NGOs - Human Rights Watch, the Hotline for Migrant Workers, and Physicians for Human Rights - listed Israeli excuses for denying the migrants entry. "Israeli authorities contend that asylum seekers to whom it denies entry can request asylum from Egyptian authorities, that Israel has the right to seal its borders, and that its obligations toward asylum seekers do not extend to those who are prevented from entering its territory."
They continued: "None of these arguments are correct under the Refugee Convention or international human rights law, the three rights groups said."
The report citing specific examples of IDF soldiers allegedly denying food and water to migrants, beating them with fists and guns, and pushing them across the Israel-Egypt border with long metal poles.
The NGOs stated that the migrants face extreme violence if denied entry into Israel, including torture and rape by Sinai traffickers.
“There is simply no loophole justifying Israel’s denial of protection to asylum seekers by rejecting them at the border without fully considering their individual cases," said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch. "To accept such a claim would be to accept the evisceration of refugee protection.”