African Migrants Protest Israeli Detention Law

African migrants enter the fourth day of protests against Israel's parliament. (Photo Credit: The Guardian)

African migrants enter the fourth day of protests against Israel’s parliament. (Photo Credit: The Guardian)

AllAfrica.com is reporting that African migrants are protesting an Israeli law that allows authorities to detain indefinitely those without valid visas. The migrants say they are political refugees, but the government says they are economic migrants.

Voice of America‘s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem:

“In Israel, several thousand African migrants demonstrated Wednesday for a fourth day against a new law that allows authorities to detain indefinitely those without valid visas. The migrants say they are political refugees — but the government insists they are economic migrants.

The Migrants chanted that they are not criminals but rather refugees, as they gathered in front of and protested the Israeli Knesset (parliament).

The asylum seekers, who are mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, say Israel makes it difficult to obtain or renew their visas and rarely grants asylum. But the government considers them to be infiltrators looking for work and wants them to leave.”

More than 50,000 Africans have entered Israel in the last seven years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that the influx had virtually stopped since the completion last year of a five-meter-high fence (16.4 foot fence) along the border with Egypt.

Read more at AllAfrica.com.

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