Several dozen Eritrean asylum-seekers have left Israel for Sweden as part of a voluntary departure program.
The voluntary deportation was carried out in coordination with the Swedish government after an agreement between Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar and the United Nations High Commissioner on Human rights and marks the first time Sweden has accepted asylum-seekers from Israel, according to Israel’s Channel 2.
As part of their voluntary departure, the asylum-seekers were transferred to Sweden by Israel’s Immigration Authority and received $3,500.
In 2013, 2,612 asylum-seekers, 1,955 of whom were from Sudan or Eritrea, left Israel as part of a voluntary departure program, up from just 461 in 2012.
Thousands of migrants on Tuesday continued their work-strike and gathered for a demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Park for the third consecutive day to protest against Israel’s immigration policies and treatment of asylum-seekers. Organizers also plan for a march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Wednesday.