Despite a court order demanding the release of hundreds of immigrants, Israel recently expanded the criteria under which the refugees could be held at Holot Detention Center in the Negev Desert.
The world’s largest detention center is for black Jews seeking asylum in Israel. The recent release of 1.200 prisoners from a detention center in the Negev Desert is not a signal that Israel is rethinking its harsh treatment of refugees.
Thousands of immigrants still face a choice between imprisonment and repatriation to their war-torn countries. About 65.000 African refugees are believed to currently live in Israel.
Amnesty International strongly objected to the treatment of African refugees in Israel. The Israeli government is offering refugees from Sudan and Eritrea a cash payment and a one way ticket back to Africa, or face going to prison.
Mass manipulation at gunpoint does not sound very humanitarian, but Israel does not want to be solely held responsible for the Armageddon and final Exodus.
Asylum seekers are prohibited by law from taking paid work and have little or no access to health care and welfare services. Despite being recognized by Amnesty and the world community as refugees in need of aid, Israel labels them as infiltrators.
For thousands of these refugees, their destination on arrival is Saharonim Prison, where they can be held for three months. The next step is Holot Detention Center, where they can be held for an extended period of time. Detainees can leave the compound during the day, but must report to the facility at 10 PM and are not allowed to work.
The political idea of Holot is to break people’s spirit, make their life miserable in order to sign and go back. The irony here is that it was the international failure to assist Jews during the holocaust that led to the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention.
Israel receives $3.1 billion in U.S. aid, while the Middle East’s poor struggle to survive under extreme bloody war like conditions.
Mint Press News / AA edited News 2015.