Israel tells illegal Africans to leave before April or face jail
last updated: 02/01/2018
Clampdown to focus on illegal immigrants and will incarcerate, not deport, those found to be breaking the law.
Increasing numbers of African migrants have found their way into Israel in recent years. Now Israel is notifying thousands of them, those who have entered illegally, that they have three months to leave or face incarceration.
The decision was only taken in the last few days and will come into force in April.
Africans in Israel face discrimination and a poor jobs market, and even those African Jews from the communities around the Horn of Africa face barriers to integration, with some orthodox Jews claiming they are not Jewish at all.
For some the final destination will be places like Holot Detention Centre in southern Israel.
African migrants here are in a no-,man's land, waiting for something to change in their situations, either for asylum applications or deportation.
If they have been fleeing war or repression in countries like Eritrea, for example, Israel has been sending them to third-party nations like Uganda and Rwanda that have been willing to take them.