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Israelis oppose Sudanese immigration


Thousands refugees from Sudan have arrived in Israel since 2005, fleeing war and poverty.

However, their lives in Tel Aviv and other cities are far from easy.

Many have been deported, and most of those that remain are unemployed.

Meanwhile, most Israelis want their country to remain Jewish – and are against immigration from Arab countries.

Since 2005, over 20,000 refugees have settled in different parts of Israel. Hundreds are being held Israeli prisons while their asylum claims are considered.

Muhammed An-neel Ibrahimis says four months ago he arrived in Tel-Aviv unintentionally.

“We started our trip in Khartoum and moved to Cairo. And then we were heading for Libya. But the people who were supposed to take us from Egypt to Libya took us to Israel. We didn’t know the way, and found ourselves here.”

The Israeli government says the problem is not the refugees - but illegal immigrants, who undermine the Israeli state.

Ayoub Hamdan says he carries documents to show his refugee status, but that it makes no difference to Israeli officials.

“I’m a refugee from a one of Darfur’s camps, but Israel treats me as an infiltrator”, he says.

Disappointment and frustration are common feelings among Sudanese in Israel.

“They say Israel is democratic, but we found out that it is not, there is nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat”, says Ahmad, a Sudanese refugees.

“Life here is very difficult for us, the native population treats us badly”, says Khaleel, another refugee.

“We were doing our registration and they told us that they would send us back to Sudan, so since then we have been waiting. Most of us want to get back to Sudan”, says Muhammed An-neel.

Israelis see the Sudanese community as a heavy burden.

“It’s not good for Israelis, with this influx of foreigners everywhere – from the Philippines or Sudan or African countries. Israel has no use for them. They are unemployed, they drink a lot, and provoke violence” says Moshi, a citizen of Tel-Aviv.

“We have established an organization for the protection of our citizens from infiltrators, and today we are drafting laws to curb this phenomenon, which is harmful to Jewish state”, says Yulia Shmalov Berkovich, a Knesset member from Kadima, talking to RT in Jerusalem.

After 150 Sudanese nationals were deported, a crowd of Israelis gathered in front of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, demanding more expulsions.

“We organized this demonstration to say that Israel should be a Jewish state, so we do not welcome the presence of Arabs here” says Shmuel Kuraev, a spokesman for Jewish Israel.

“It is difficult to live with them, they steal and assault the old people. We want to be protected”, says one of the demonstrators.

Sudanese immigration continues to be an acute dilemma for the Israeli government.


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