Israelis, African refugees protest Tel Aviv deporting, jailing of asylum seekers

Israelis migrants
African migrants and Israelis demonstrate in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on February 24, 2018

Thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets alongside African refugees in Tel Aviv to protest Israel’s policy of deporting and jailing asylum seekers.

The Saturday protest was held in the city’s southern regions where most of the asylum seekers live.

Participants of the rally held signs reading, “No to deportation,” “We’re all humans” and “Refugees and residents refuse to be enemies.”

Israeli authorities on Tuesday started to transfer the first Eritreans, detained at the Holot open detention center, to Saharonim Prison after they refused to leave the occupied territories.

Israel started the implementation of a plan in early January to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the occupied territories, threatening to detain and jail those who refuse to leave.

The refugees will reportedly be deported to Rwanda or Uganda, according to testimonies of people who have already left as well as aid workers.