Under pressure from the (Mizrahi) residents of South Tel Aviv, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suspended a deal that would have permitted 16,000 African migrants to remain in Israel. For years their Israeli neighbours have been the main victims of criminal activity, including robbery and rape.Haaretz reports:
Netanyahu touring south Tel Aviv in 2017 Photo: Moti Milrod)
Against a backlash from politicians and others against the plan, hours after it was unveiled at a news conference, Netanyahu took to Facebook, writing: “In the interim, I am suspending implementation of the agreement, and after I meet with the representatives, I will submit the agreement for reexamination,” in a reference to representatives of south Tel Aviv neighborhoods.
Explaining that an initial plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda in Africa had fallen apart, he said he then sought to resolve the matter through an agreement with the UN refugee agency. He placed blame for Rwanda’s reconsideration of the agreement to accept asylum seekers from Israel on the New Israel Fund and European Union officials.
“Nevertheless I am attentive to you, and first and foremost to the residents of south Tel Aviv. Therefore I have decided to meet with representatives of the residents tomorrow [Tuesday] morning together with Interior Minster Arye Dery. In the interim, I am suspending implementation of the agreement, and after I meet with the representatives, I will submit the agreement for reexamination.”