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African immigrants in Israel are protesting against the treatment and discrimination they are facing in the country.
BBC News reported thousands of Africans coming together in Tel Aviv to protest a law that allows illegal immigrants to be detained for a year without trial.
Before the New Year, in December, Israel passed a detention law to decrease the amount of Africans coming into the country to protect their “Jewish identity,” Reuters reported.
The country also built a fence to block immigrants from coming into the country from Egypt. While the law targets new illegal refugees, it is also affecting refugees that are already in the country. Many of the immigrants seeking asylum in the country are doing so because of wars or famines that have broken out in their homeland.
As part of the law, Israeli police can send refugees in the country to “open facilities.” However, to the immigrants these are prisons.
The AFP reported more than 30,000 asylum seekers protested this injustice. They shouted, “We are all refugees” and “Yes to freedom, no to prison.”
“Instead of considering us refugees, Israel treats us like criminals,” said Dawud, an Eritrean seeking asylum.
Since the passing of the law, 300 people have already been arrested according to the NY Times.
In 2013, the AFP reported Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advocating for the deportation of the people seeking asylum, “The steps that we unanimously approved today are proportionate and necessary for maintaining the Jewish and democratic character of the state.”
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.