JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hundreds of students, their teachers and parents protested outside a prison near Tel Aviv where two Israeli-born children of Filipina workers are being held ahead of deportation to the Philippines.
The children are being detained by the Population and Immigration Authority, the Kan public broadcaster reported.
Gena Antigo, 13, was detained as she headed out to the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium School in Tel Aviv. Ralph Harel, 10, also is being held. The children are being held with their mothers, Haaretz reported.
They were taken into custody despite an understanding with the Interior Ministry that immigration authorities would not target children at or on their way to or from school.
Hearings have not been held for the children and their mothers.
A Tel Aviv District Court judge ordered an appeals court to make a decision by Sunday on their continued detention.
“We’ve been walking to school together for years, go to each other’s’ houses, we’re like sisters,” Gena’s best friend Sivan told Haaretz. “I’m scared she won’t be here with me anymore. I don’t know why they want to deport her, she’s a wonderful girl. I’m going to demonstrate with all my friends so they release her.”