World Bulletin / News Desk
Last August, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Eritrean and Sudanese migrants who had not formally sought asylum in Israel could be deported to their home country or to a third country.
According to figures from Israel’s Immigration and Absorption Authority, some 55,000 African migrants and asylum-seekers currently reside in the country, roughly 90 percent of whom hail from either Sudan or Eritrea.
Most of them arrived in Israel -- via Egypt -- during the period from 2006 to 2013 before a security fence was erected along the border between Israel and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
According to the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants (HRM), an Israeli NGO based in Tel Aviv, most of these migrants and asylum-seekers are concentrated in south Tel Aviv and in other cities.
“When they came here, the government gave them a one-way ticket to Tel Aviv’s central bus station,” HRM spokesperson Dror Sadot said.
Most of them have stayed in the country on “conditional release” visas, which they must renew on a monthly or bimonthly basis.
“This visa guarantees that they won’t be deported back to their countries of origin,” Sadot said. “Otherwise, they aren’t entitled to anything, including health care.”