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African migrants in Israel demonstrate for asylum

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hundreds of asylum-seeking African migrants in Israel protested against the government for ignoring their requests and placing them in detention facilities.

The migrants, from Sudan and Eritrea, marched through Tel Aviv on Sunday and held a rally in the city’s Rabin Square. Another 300 African asylum seekers protested in front of the Interior Ministry offices in Eilat.

Also on Sunday, the migrants staged a nationwide strike that reportedly is scheduled to last three days.

The larger protests follow two weeks of smaller demonstrations.

Last month, the Knesset approved an amendment to the Migrant Law to allow Israel to hold African migrants in prison for up to a year without trial and indefinitely in the open detention facility in Holon.

The Holot residence is called an “open facility,” with detainees free to leave during the day and with mandatory check-in at night. They are not allowed to hold jobs.

Israel’s Supreme Court had ruled unconstitutional the law allowing officials to hold migrants without trial for three years.

 

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