Israel orders African migrants to leave

An African migrant protests in 2014.
An African migrant protests in 2014. Photo credit: Reuters

African migrants living in Israel have been given three months to leave the country or face harsh punishment.

The Israeli government has issued the 90-day notice, which affects thousands of migrants, with the threat of imprisonment for those who don't comply.

The order exempts children and the elderly, as well as victims of human trafficking and slavery.

Those who leave before March will be given US$3500 as well as free airfares.

The move is an attempt to remove 40,000 illegal migrants from Israel, including those who fled to the country to seek asylum from conflict, the BBC reports. These refugees are still considered economic migrants, the Israeli government says.

Migrants will be given the option of returning home or going to a third country, such as Rwanda.

Last month the government unanimously approved a bill to shut down detention centres which house some of the migrants.

The UN refugee agency says the plan violates international and Israeli laws.


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