Israel said it would temporarily freeze its deportation of African asylum seekers until the necessary legal processes are carried out. The state’s announcement follows a petition submitted by the Supreme Court.

Anti-deportation protest

Anti-deportation protest Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel will freeze its plan to deport thousands of African asylum seekers until the relevant legislation process is completed, authorities said on Wednesday. The move comes after the Israeli Supreme Court petitioned against the government’s current plan outline, which involves the deportation of the migrants to third-party countries in Africa.

Responding to the Supreme Court’s petition, Israel’s Attorney General said the State would comply with holding the deportation plan but will continue its administrative process. This includes carrying out hearings and giving out deportation notices.

According to Hadashot News, the Supreme Court demanded that the state provide answers as to the reason it is executing its deportation plan without waiting for the legal proceedings. In response, the State said it has revised its agreement with Rwanda, where the asylum seekers will be reportedly deported. Rwanda has previously denied it has signed any such agreement with Israel.

As reported by JOL, Israel closed the Holot open-air detention center in the Negev on Wednesday. The African detainees who did not submit their asylum requests before January 2018 were summoned to court hearings, after which they are expected to be transferred to Saharonim prison for an indefinite time period.