Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Canada, Italy and Germany are among the Western countries that have agreed to accept some 16,00 African asylum seekers in Israel, according to an deal by which Israel will give permanent status to the remainder — estimated at around 18,000.
Speaking at a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office following the announcement of the deal with the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, Netanyahu said that the migrants “will leave, amid others, to Canada, Italy and Germany.”
He said the agreement with UN, which is to be phased in over the next five years in three stages, came about after Israel’s Supreme Court barred the implementation of a plan that would have seen Israel expel the migrants to unnamed third-party countries, believed to be Rwanda and Uganda.
“I went to the neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv, I saw the suffering of the Israelis living there and we said that we have to remove the problem. But because the Supreme Court has banned us from moving them to a country they do not want to go to we had to find another solution,” Netanyahu says.
The prime minister adds that the “hundreds of millions of shekels that we would have had to invest in absorbing the migrants — we will invest it in south Tel Aviv,” where majority of the migrants live.