Features include interactive map, in-depth stories, and more.Download now. »
The week's top five must-sees,
delivered to your inbox.
Undocumented workers from Africa in Israel is the name of a phenomenon that began in the second half of the 2000s in which a large number of undocumented workers from Africa entered Israel illegally, mainly through the fenced border between Israel and Egypt. According to the data of the Israeli Interior Ministry, the number of these illegal immigrants amounted to 26,635 people to July 2010., and over 55,000 in January 2012. Many of the undocumented workers seek an asylum status under the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of the United Nations. Only a fraction of all the undocumented workers is actually eligible for this status. However, many of them, mostly citizens of Eritrea and Sudan, cannot be forcibly deported from Israel. The Eritrea citizens cannot be deported due to the opinion of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that Eritrea has a difficult internal situation and a forced recruitment and therefore the Eritrean immigrants are defined as a "temporary humanitarian protection group". Despite the fact that a similar opinion does not exist in relation to citizens of Sudan, Israel does not deport them back to Egypt due to a real fear for their fate. Although the immigrants entered Israel from Egypt, Israel cannot deport them back to Egypt because the Egyptians refuse to give an undertaking not to deport the immigrants to their countries of origin. Accordingly, the Israeli authorities grant a temporary residence permit to the undocumented workers, which needs to be renew every three months. Various authorities in Israel estimate that between 80–90 percent of the undocumented workers live primarily in two centers: Tel Aviv and Eilat, with a few in Ashdod, Jerusalem and Arad. (via Freebase)