UNHCR Hopes for Solution to Plight of African Refugees in Israel

The U.N. refugee agency says it regrets Israel’s decision to cancel an agreement to resettle thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers, but remains hopeful that a solution still can be found.

There are about 39,000 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel, most of them living in poor neighborhoods of Tel Aviv.

On Monday, Israel and the U.N. refugee agency announced an agreement to send some of the refugees to Western countries while allowing others to remain in Israel under temporary visas and find jobs.

This elicited a howl of protest from right-wing allies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who consider the Africans illegal immigrants. Netanyahu canceled the agreement the next day.

Earlier, Israel said it would give the refugees a choice: accept relocation…

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