Israel reaches deal with UN to send nearly half of African asylum seekers to Western countries

Thousands of African asylum seekers and human rights activists at a separate protest in Tel Aviv, Feb. 21, 2018. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has reached an agreement with the United Nations which will see nearly half of the African asylum seekers it planned to deport go to Western countries.

The U.N. High Commission for Refugees has committed to finding places in Western nations for at least 16,250 of the African migrants from Eritrea and Sudan. In return, Israel will legalize the status of the remaining asylum seekers, according to Israeli media reports.

There reportedly are up to 39,000 illegal immigrants from Africa currently living in Israel, about 5,000 of them children.

The new plan reportedly will take up to five years to implement, and will…

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