Hundreds of students, their teachers and parents protested Thursday 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 were being detained by the Population and Immigration Authority, the Kan public broadcaster reported. They were sent home on Friday.
Gena Antigo, 13, was detained as she headed out to the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium School in Tel Aviv. Ralph Harel, 10, was also held. The children were being detained 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.
“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.”