January 8, 2018
Rather than pay migrants — or “illegal infiltrators” as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls them — to stay in their country, Israel is paying them to leave.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Wednesday it would pay thousands of African migrants living illegally in the country to leave, threatening them with jail if they are caught after the end of March.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in public remarks at a cabinet meeting on the payment program, said a barrier Israel completed in 2013 along its border with Egypt had effectively cut off a stream of “illegal infiltrators” from Africa after some 60,000 crossed the desert frontier.
The vast majority came from Eritrea and Sudan and many said they fled war and persecution as well as economic hardship, but Israel treats them as economic migrants.
The plan launched this week offers African migrants a $3,500 payment from the Israeli government and a free air ticket to return home or go to “third countries”, which rights groups identified as Rwanda and Uganda.
“We have expelled about 20,000 and now the mission is to get the rest out,” Netanyahu said.
…Netanyahu has called the migrants’ presence a threat to Israel’s social fabric and Jewish character, and one government minister has referred to them as “a cancer”.
According to the latest reports, Rwanda and Uganda are both refusing to take them. Perhaps celebrities like George Clooney and Lily Allen could open up their homes?
This article was posted: Monday, January 8, 2018 at 7:27 am