Like the 403 other Congo nationals in Israel, Elijah (not his real name) faces deportation any time after January 5. He says he won’t go. “I’m not safe back in Congo. The same people who forced me to run away from there are still in power.”
Tag Archives: African refugees
Maen Abu Hafez, 24, was born in Brazil to a Palestinian father from the Jenin Refugee Camp, and he has lived in the camp since he was 3 years old. However, Israel never issued his family an ID card establishing their residency in the West Bank and Abu Hafez is now facing deportation to Brazil after a routine traffic stop. Despite being Palestinians and living in an area under the control of the Palestinian Authority, the lives of the Abu Hafez family, and hundreds of families like them — a Palestinian married to a foreign spouse and their children — are in the hands of the Israeli government, who has control over the Palestinian population registry.
Israeli officials in the Population and Immigration authority have begun distributing an ‘information page’ for African refugees at the Holot desert detention center. The document is chilling. It does not name the third country the refugees would be deported to, but ends with a warning that “if you do not agree to leave voluntarily to a third country, enforcement and deportation steps will be taken against you.” Not mentioned in the document is the new rule that refusal to leave will entail indefinite incarceration. The document ends with a “best of luck” wish.
Neta Golan was shocked, but not surprised, by the images of a Tel Aviv mob attacking African immigrants. As an Israeli, she was familiar with fear and anger being directed towards non-Jews in Israel and the occupied territories. She says this fear is the result of a never-ending demographic war seen as essential for maintaining Israel as a Jewish state.