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African refugees protest detention, deportation in Israel

Hundreds of African refugees have held a protest rally in front of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) to voice their anger at the Tel Aviv regime’s policy of mass detention and deportation against them.

Israeli media reported that some 1,000 protesters, mostly Eritreans and Sudanese, gathered outside the legislature as well as the Supreme Court in Jerusalem al-Quds on Thursday.

Some were holding up banners reading, “Black lives matter,” and “Don’t force us to leave and look for refuge elsewhere.” Others were carrying pictures of the refugees, who had been deported.

More than 10,000 African asylum seekers, mainly Sudanese and Eritreans, have been held at the Holot detention facility in the Negev, with officials there allowed to keep them for a maximum of 12 months.

Tel Aviv has Israel has sought to strike deals with other African nations to take in some of the African refugees.

However, the organizers of the Thursday march say asylum seekers who have been deported to third-party African states face the risk of being repatriated back to their homeland.

In a letter addressed to the Supreme Court justices, the organizers of the march denounced the deportation policy as “coercive”, saying, “This policy is cruel, illegal and unacceptable. We should not be imprisoned or thrown to other countries in Africa that are not ours and don’t accept us.”

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