Relations between Israel and its modest population of African migrants have reached a new level of hostility and intolerance this week. Arsonists attacked a house where 10 Eritreans lived, leaving four injured, and President Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the deportation of 25,000 migrants, many of whom fled their home countries fearing persecution.
The Guardian writes:
“The overnight firebombing of a downtown Jerusalem building which houses refugees from sub-Saharan Africa was the latest in a string of attacks set against the backdrop of rising anti-migrant sentiment in Israel, fuelled by inflammatory comments by prominent politicians. Often described as infiltrators by ministers, the media, the army and government officials, migrants have also had labels such as "cancer", "garbage", "plague" and "rapists" applied to them by Israeli politicians.
On Sunday, a law came into effect allowing the Israeli authorities to jail migrants for up to three years. People helping or sheltering migrants could face prison sentences of between five and 15 years.
Netanyahu also ordered ministers to accelerate efforts to deport 25,000 migrants from countries with which Israel has diplomatic relations, principally South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ethiopia."
Read the full story here.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)