Deportation or Prison: Israel’s African Asylum Seekers
In January, Israel approved a plan that asked asylum seekers to choose between indefinite detention in an Israeli prison, or deportation to a third country in Africa.
Rwanda and Uganda are reported to be the countries accepting those deported from Israel, despite denials from both governments.
According to the scheme, asylum seekers will be given a plane ticket and up to $3,500 for leaving, however, many are choosing to stay in Israel, rather than risk returning to Africa.
Many of the asylum seekers come from war-ravaged Eritrea and Sudan, however, Israel does not recognise the majority as refugees, claiming that they are economic migrants or “illegal infiltrators”.
Teklit Michael and Eden Tesfamariam have lived in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv for around 10 years, both of them say they fled Eritrea to escape the military. They talk to Al Jazeera about the situation in Eritrea, life in Israel and their hopes for the future.