African migrants protest Israeli injustice

African migrants protest Israeli injustice
Sun Jan 5, 2014 10:32:00

Thousands of migrants from Sudan and Eritrea have held a protest rally in Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv to declare a nationwide general labor strike.

Starting from Sunday, the migrants will not go to work and will probably continue to strike throughout the week to show their anger over the Israeli regime’s inhumane measures against migrants, the Times of Israel reported on Sunday.

On Monday, community activists intend to contact the United Nation High Commission for Refugees and foreign embassies in Israel, asking them to demand the Israeli government to take responsibility for the migrants.

The strike is set to begin with a protest march from the Levinsky Park in Tel Aviv to the city’s Rabin Square, where the protesters will stage a demonstration.

The immigrants demand refugee status and have been protesting the Israeli government’s policy of holding them in the new Holot facility in the Naqab.

The strike comes after a series of protests in recent weeks since the opening of Holot. Holot replaces the Saharonim prison complex, where migrants have been held up until last month.

In mid-December, 250 migrants fled Holot for a sit-in in al-Quds to demonstrate against rules keeping them in the detention center. Hundreds of migrants were arrested during the sit-in.

The new facility, where the terms of the migrants’ detention are somewhat more lax than at Saharonim, was erected after Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that incarcerating the migrants without trial for up to three years, as was previously the standard, was unconstitutional.

As a signatory of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (CRSR), Israel cannot deport asylum seekers if they face danger in their country of origin.

A December report shows that more than 1.7 million Israelis, including one-third of Israeli children, live below the poverty line.

In recent months, many Israelis have been migrating to Germany and the United States. It is said that the Israelis are leaving Israel on economic grounds. High taxes and low salaries have had adverse effects on the lives of Israelis, specifically the middle class, in recent years.

Discontented Israelis almost regularly take to the streets in Tel Aviv and other cities to protest against Tel Aviv’s economic plans and the painful austerity measures, which have raised taxes and cut welfare benefits.


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