Netanyahu dismisses claims that deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda is dangerous

During a Likud meeting on Sunday, the Israeli Prime Minister said Rwanda is home to 180,000 refugees, dismissing claims that the country is dangerous to asylum seekers living in Israel.
African asylum seekers and human rights activists protest deportation in front of the Rwandan Embassy Photo credit: Tomer Neuberg, Flash 90

Amid a growing campaign against the government's decision to deport African asylum seekers to Rwanda, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed claims that Rwanda would be dangerous to the deportees.

"There are 180,000 refugees living there with UN sponsorship," Netanyahu said in a Likud meeting on Sunday. "So any claim that (Rwanda) is dangerous is a joke."

Last week, in a meeting between Netanyahu and Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Davos, the two agreed that any deportation of asylum seekers must be done in accordance with international law.

Photo credit: Israel Police

On Saturday, anti-deportation activists placed doll heads drenched in blood-like red paint at the entrance to the Population and Immigration Authority offices in Tel Aviv as a form of protest. They also included notes saying, "Their blood is on your hands" and "This is only the beginning."

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