Israel reaches migrant deal with the United Nations after protests

Israel will now send African migrants to countries in the West instead of Africa

Israel reaches deal with UN to resettle African migrants

-The Israeli government announced on Monday that it has reached a landmark agreement with the United Nations to scrap its contested plans to deport African asylum seekers and would resettle many of them in Western countries instead.

"[This is] a unique agreement between the UN commissioner and the state of Israel, that takes 16,250 people out, takes them out to developed countries like Canada, or Germany and Italy - that is the commitment the UN High Commissioner has made - to organize it and even to fund it", Netanyahu said on live television.

Critics at home and in the Jewish community overseas called that proposed response unethical and a stain on Israel's image as a refuge for Jewish migrants.

"The agreement stipulates that for each migrant who leaves the country, we commit to give temporary residence status to another", Netanyahu said.

Numerous migrants say they came to Israel to seek asylum after fleeing persecution, conflict, and in the case of Eritreans, forced, lifelong conscription to its army, but Israeli authorities regard them as economic migrants.

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Rights groups had challenged the deportation in Israel's High Court, which on March 15 issued a temporary order that froze its implementation.

Netanyahu's office said that legal obstacles and ensuing problems with the proposed third-country African destinations forced the government to amend its plans and come to an agreement under United Nations auspices.

The government also pledged to allocate money to rehabilitate Tel Aviv neighborhoods where the Africans are concentrated and encourage many of them to move to other parts of the country.

At immigration hearings, migrants were told they could choose to go to Rwanda or Uganda.

The African migrants started moving toward Israel in 2005, after neighboring Egypt violently quashed a refugee demonstration and word spread of safety and job opportunities in Israel.

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Netanyahu said on social media that Rwanda had in the past few weeks folded to enormous pressure and backed out of the deal it had made with Israel to accept expelled migrants, prompting him to seek the new arrangement with the UNHCR.

The post Netanyahu suspends Israel-UN deal on African migrants appeared first on The Independent Uganda:.

Religious and conservative politicians have portrayed the presence of Muslim and Christian Africans as a threat to Israel's Jewish character.

Migrants began entering Israel through what was then a porous Egyptian border in 2007.

Under the new five-year plan, Israel will "regulate" the status of those not being resettled - signalling they will be allowed to stay at least temporarily. The border has since been strengthened, all but ending illegal crossings. Others who had submitted asylum requests before January 1 were released pending a decision.

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They say they fled danger at home and that it is not safe to return to another African country, but Israel considers the majority of African asylum seekers to be economic migrants. Israel has granted asylum to fewer than one percent of those who have applied and has a years-long backlog of applicants.

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