South Sudanese refugees aren’t being deported, but they aren’t being allowed to work either, Army Radio reported on Wednesday morning.
The deportation of over seven thousand people, including families with children, was scheduled to start at the end of the week. However, a recent Tel Aviv District Court ruling put the deportation on hold until further talks are held by the relevant government offices.
In the meantime, the Interior Ministry has stopped providing work permits to those meant to be deported — leaving families without the ability to earn money and purchase basic necessities.
“How will we buy food? How will we pay for a roof and electricity?” one of the refugees asked Army Radio. “They’re not renewing our visa. That’s the most important thing. If they renew it, we can work,” he added.
The thousands of migrants who fled civil war in Sudan were set to be deported after South Sudan declared its independence a year ago, and the Israeli government decided that it was safe for them to return. However, renewed violence in the region and pleas by human rights activists have — for now — stalled the deportation.