African Migrants in Limbo After Israel Zigzags on Deportation

About 40,000 Africans in Israel are facing an uncertain future as Israel resumes efforts to deport them.

African migrants have been on a roller coaster ride since last week, when the Israeli government did an about-face.

First, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel had reached a compromise with the U.N. Refugee Agency. Under the deal, some 16,000 Africans would be sent to Western countries, while more than 20,000 would be allowed to remain in Israel.

The migrants were elated, but not for long. Netanyahu abruptly cancelled the agreement the next day, after his right-wing coalition partners demanded that all the Africans be deported. The government rejects claims the Africans are refugees, describing them as economic migrants and “infiltrators.”

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