“The court did not give sufficient weight to the evidence presented before it and instead approved a policy based on the a confidential arrangement, which has no parallel in the world. An abundance of evidence presented to the court taught that it leads to serious harm to people who were sent to Rwanda.…While the state guaranteed that those sent to Rwanda would be able to stay there and work, it turns out that they do not receive anything, are placed in an enclosed area and their only choice is to be illegally smuggled to Uganda. The ruling could lead to the indefinite imprisonment of masses of innocent people just because of their fear to go to Rwanda, under conditions in which their status and security is not appropriately guaranteed."
Israeli District Court Rules African Asylum Seekers Can Be Deported To Third Countries, Despite Evidence They Are Mistreated And Abused Once Arriving There
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
An Israeli district court rejected an appeal by human rights organizations and ruled the Interior Ministry's policy of allowing unending unlimited prison detention of African asylum seekers who refuse to leave Israel to a third country chosen by Israel is legal, Ynet reported.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the right-wing Zionist Orthodox Habayit HaYehudi Party and Interior Minister Silvan Shalom of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party reportedly welcomed the Be'er Sheva District Court's decision.
In April, former the previous interior minister, Gilad Erdan, and Israel’s Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration announced that any African asylum seeker who does not submit an application for asylum or whose asylum application had already been rejected would be compelled to leave Israel through the euphemistically- "voluntary departure" program. Anyone refusing to leave would be imprisoned indefinitely without trial.
The Be’er Sheva court ruled that agreements regarding the transfer of asylum seekers from one country to another – in this case from Israel primarily to Rwanda – are legal under international law as long as the basic rights of those individuals expelled in that manner are guaranteed.
But the evidence shows those basic rights are not protected, that much of the promised aid and support the asylum seekers were promised by Israeli officials would be waiting for them in Rwanda is in fact not given to them. Their basic security is not protected in these third countries, either, and their freedom is taken away. Some asylum seekers from Sudan forced out of Israel through the “voluntary departure" program” have because of those failings in Rwanda and in other third countries used by Israel for this purpose fled from them to South Sudan, and some of them are now feared dead.
International law forbids the forced repatriation of asylum seekers from countries of intense violence or repression. Most African asylum seekers in Israel are from Southern Sudan, the Darfur region, and Eritrea – the most repressive and dangerous dictatorship in the world.
Israel uses the third country ruse to expel these asylum seekers without trial or international protection, essentially condemning some, if not most, of these desperate people to more persecution and sometimes, death.
The Be’er Sheva District Court’s Judge Rachel Barkai ruled that the human rights groups failed to prove "that the third countries are countries which would pose a danger to their liberty and security, and the cases brought before me do not reflect an objective situation of expelled individuals exposed to abuse or persecution on the part of those countries."
Human rights groups ridiculed the court’s decision.
“The court did not give sufficient weight to the evidence presented before it and instead approved a policy based on the a confidential arrangement, which has no parallel in the world. An abundance of evidence presented to the court taught that it leads to serious harm to people who were sent to Rwanda.…While the state guaranteed that those sent to Rwanda would be able to stay there and work, it turns out that they do not receive anything, are placed in an enclosed area and their only choice is to be illegally smuggled to Uganda. The ruling could lead to the indefinite imprisonment of masses of innocent people just because of their fear to go to Rwanda, under conditions in which their status and security is not appropriately guaranteed," the human rights groups reportedly said in a statement.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked rejoiced at being able to send more asylum seekers away without the nasty encumbrances of law getting in the way.
“It has been a long time since Israel's arms were tied with regard to resolving the difficult problem of illegal immigration. A breakthrough has been reached today that will allow Israel to transfer illegal immigrants to third countries. This is a fair and just decision. I welcome the decision of the Be'er Sheva District Court,” Shaked said.
The High Court of Justice, a thorn in the side of Netanyahu’s race to rid Israel of African asylum seekers, may eventually overturn the district court’s decision on appeal.
Israel has granted less than 1% of asylum requests made by Africans even though international law experts and human rights and refugee affairs groups believe many, if not most, of the Africans applying fit the definition of refugee under international law and qualify for asylum.
Top right-wing and even some centrist Israeli politicians have called the African asylum seeker “infiltrators” and a “cancer” destroying the fabric of Israeli society. Many of these politicians, some from haredi political parties, have openly said they are unwilling to accept these refugees-in-all-but-name-only because they aren’t Jewish. Some right-wing Zionist Orthodox and haredi rabbis have backed those politicians.