Israel seeking to delay release of jailed asylum seekers amid reported negotiations with Uganda

Israel has appealed to the Supreme Court requesting that African asylum seekers remain imprisoned while the government seeks the right conditions for them to be deported to a third-country, reportedly Uganda.
Asylum seekers protesting Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

The Israeli State has requested that the Supreme Court delay the release of hundreds of jailed African asylum seekers, claiming there was a “highly probability” that they would be deported to a third country. Israel has reportedly sent a special envoy to Uganda to conduct the negotiations.

The envoy said on Thursday that more time would be required to complete the arrangement for deportation to the third country. The statement came one day after Uganda has vigorously denied signing any such agreement with Israel.

“We do not have a contract, any understanding, formal or informal, with Israel for them to dump their refugees here,” Uganda’s Foreign minister Henry Okello Oryem said earlier this week. Oryem insisted that any asylum seekers arriving in the country would be sent back.

As previously reported by JOL, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday announced that Rwanda had pulled out of a deportation deal with Israel. In a post on social media, Netanyahu slammed the New Israel Fund, a left-wing NGO and accused it of destroying the original plan to deport African asylum seekers to the country.

On Monday, Netanyahu canceled a deal he had signed with the United Nations after receiving criticism from members of his government. The deal would have brought to the resettlement of over 16,000 African asylum seekers in Western nations while granting others temporary residency status in Israel.



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