JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hundreds of African migrants protested in Tel Aviv against violence directed at them, as well as Israeli government policy toward migrants as a group.
The some 300 migrants, most from Eritrea and Sudan, according to Ynet, marched from Levinsky Park in Tel Aviv to the United Nations mission.
Signs carried by the migrants read: “A refugee is not cancer, he’s a person who escaped persecution and is entitled to protection” and “We want group protection, not refugee rights,” and “stop violence against refugees.”
The Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority reportedly arrested eight South Sudanese migrants in Eilat over the weekend.
Last week, the authority announced that the migrants illegally in Israel would have one week to turn themselves in and leave the country, with a small grant to help them get started in their home country, or be deported.
The deadline was imposed following a June 7 Jerusalem District Court ruling that the migrants could be deported because the lawsuit filed on their behalf failed to prove that they would face “risk to life or exposure to serious damage.”
Some 1,500 South Sudanese are affected by the ruling. Approximately 60,000 African migrants are living in Israel, and thousands are infiltrating into the country each month through its border with Egypt.