Netanyahu Nixes UN Asylum Seeker Deal
Written by TPS on April 03, 2018
Less than 24 hours after announcing an ‘unprecedented deal’ with the United National High Commissioner for Refugees to resettle some 16,000 African asylum seekers in Western countries, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that he had decided to withdraw from the agreement.
Netanyahu’s decision followed a heavy backlash from his coalition partners and activists in south Tel Aviv where many of the migrants, most of them from Eritrea and Sudan, are concentrated.
The deal would have seen 16,250 African asylum seekers residing in resettled by the UNHRC in various western countries, while the same number would remain in the country and were to have received five-year temporary residency. The deal was to have replaced a plan to forcibly deport migrants to third countries in Africa that ran into trouble due to legal obstacles, while Rwanda and Uganda backtracked on a commitment to take in several thousand migrants.
“Every year, I make thousands of decisions for the good of the State of Israel and its citizens. From time to time, a decision is made which needs to be reconsidered,” Netanyahu wrote on Facebook. “In the past 24 hours I consulted with Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri, as well as various professionals and residents of south Tel Aviv. After hearing many comments on the deal, and after re-assessing the benefits and drawbacks, I have decided to cancel it,” the prime minister wrote.
“Despite legal restraints and international difficulties that are piling up, we will continue to act with determination to explore all of the options at our disposal to remove the infiltrators,” Netanyahu added.
Following the announcement, Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett, who was one of the deal’s biggest critics, praised Netanyahu’s decision, calling it wise.
“Now, we must act to deport the illegal immigrants,” Bennett said.