Saturday, Oct. 10
Latest News
  1. Palestinian journalist injured in hand by live fire in Shufat clashes
  2. Palestinian shot dead after alleged stabbing attack near Damascus gate
  3. Palestinian shot dead in Shufat clashes overnight
  4. Jihad Salem Ubeid, 22, dies from Gaza demo injuries
  5. 2 killed, 19 injured as Israeli forces open fire at Gaza demo
  6. Palestinian woman shot, injured after stabbing Israeli in Afula
  7. Israeli stabs, injures 4 Palestinians in Dimona
  8. Army: Israeli moderately injured in Afula stab attack by Palestinian
  9. Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Shufat refugee camp raid
  10. Clashes erupt at Bethlehem's northern entrance
  11. Police: Israeli soldier stabbed in Tel Aviv
  12. Police: Palestinian detained after Israeli stabbed in Jerusalem
  13. Israeli media: Palestinian shot near Jerusalem after car attack
  14. Police: Palestinian stabs Israelis in Petah Tikva, arrested at scene
  15. 84 Palestinians injured by rubber bullets in West Bank clashes
  16. Israeli forces raid home of Jerusalem stab suspect
  17. Reports: Palestinian killed after stabbing soldier in Kiryat Gat
  18. Israeli media: Palestinian shot dead after stabbing Israeli
  19. 2 Palestinians sustain injuries in Dar Salah clashes
  20. Residents of Majdal Bani Fadil prevent settler attack overnight

Hundreds of African immigrants in Israel on mass hunger strike

June 30, 2014 4:47 P.M. (Updated: June 30, 2014 10:09 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Hundreds of undocumented African migrants began a hunger strike on Monday after Israeli police forcibly broke up a sit-in they were staging along the Egyptian border.

Around 1,000 Africans, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, had marched Friday to the border and set up a makeshift camp to protest against their "inhuman and unlimited" detention at Holot facility.

Israel opened Holot detention camp in the southern Negev desert last year as part of a crackdown on illegal immigrants, with the facility open by day but locked down at night.

The demonstrators have said Holot is akin to prison and have also slammed what they said was Israel's failure to process their asylum requests.

They are calling on the UN refugee agency to intervene to allow them to immigrate to a third country.

But on Sunday evening, police and immigration officials "violently" broke up the border encampment and took the demonstrators to Saharonim, another detention camp for African immigrants, the demonstrators said in a statement.

"We have been taken to Saharonim prison. Some of us have injuries including to the face and limbs. In protest of this violence, and our ongoing imprisonment we have now started a hunger strike," it said.

"We call on UNHCR to find an urgent solution for this situation and to protect our rights as people who have come to Israel to seek asylum and shelter."

Sabine Hadad, spokeswoman for the Israeli immigration authority confirmed that 779 people had been evacuated during the arrest operation.

"There were clashes with a small minority of demonstrators. Five of them and five police were very lightly injured," she told AFP.

Punishment likely

"Each one will be brought before a committee to explain why they violated the rules," she said, indicating the inmates are required to sign in twice during the day, and to spend the night in the facility.

"They could face up to three months imprisonment for this offence," she said.

Under legislation passed by parliament in December 2013, Israel can detain undocumented migrants for up to a year without trial in move slammed by UNHCR which said Israel could be in breach of international law.

The law was the latest in a series of measures aimed at cracking down on the numbers of Africans entering the country illegally, which Israel says poses a threat to the state's Jewish character.

Last year, Israel launched a crackdown on what it said were 60,000 undocumented African migrants, rounding up and deporting 3,920 by the end of the year, and building a hi-tech fence along the border with Egypt.

The UN says there are some 53,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in Israel, most of whom entered via the desert border with Egypt.

Of that number, some 36,000 come from Eritrea where the regime has been repeatedly accused of widespread human rights abuses. Another 14,000 are from conflict-torn Sudan.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015