Deportation of African Hebrew Israelites temporarily denied

The Dimona community obtained an injunction, temporarily blocking Israel from deporting the Israelites, currently considered illegal aliens.

 MEMBERS OF THE Black Hebrews community protest against deportation orders, at Habima Square in Tel Aviv, in June. (photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
MEMBERS OF THE Black Hebrews community protest against deportation orders, at Habima Square in Tel Aviv, in June.
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

Some members of the African Hebrew Israelites who are facing deportation have been given a lifeline by the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law Review Tribunal on Monday, Army Radio reported.

The Dimona-based community obtained an injunction, temporarily restraining the State of Israel from deporting the Israelites, who are considered illegal aliens.

They first arrived in the Jewish State, mostly from Chicago, in 1969, requesting citizenship under the Law of Return. However, the Israeli government ruled in 1973 they did not qualify for citizenship as they could not prove Jewish descent.

On Sunday, Israel Police immigration officers entered the community's Dimona neighborhood for the first time in pursuit of the illegal aliens, according to Army Radio.

Members of the Black Hebrews dance as they take part in celebrations for Shavuot in Dimona (credit: REUTERS)Members of the Black Hebrews dance as they take part in celebrations for Shavuot in Dimona (credit: REUTERS)

"We live in existential fear," Yair Israel, member of the Hebrew Israelite community, told Army Radio. "The state is hounding us for nothing."

"We have lived here for over 50 years, representing the country and building it together. All of a sudden we're receiving deportation letters," Israel added.