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Switzerland: UNHCR urges Israel to revive migrants agreement02:13

Switzerland: UNHCR urges Israel to revive migrants agreement

Switzerland, Geneva
April 3, 2018 at 17:42 GMT -00:00 · Published

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reconsider his decision to freeze a plan to relocate thousands of African refugees and migrants out of Israel, speaking from Geneva on Tuesday.

An UNHCR spokesperson noted that the agreement 'benefits Israel, the international community and people needing asylum'.

"We stand ready to work with Israel and with countries that will be willing to take some of these refugees in finding a solution for this number of people who are in difficult situation in Israel," he added.

According to the agreement, about 16,000 African migrants in Israel, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, would be relocated over a five-year period to western nations such as Canada and Germany, while others would be allowed to stay.

Israel announced its deportation plan on January 3. According to the plan, African asylum seekers had to voluntarily leave Israel by April 1, in exchange for USD 3,500 (EUR 2,858) per person and a plane ticket; those who refused could face indefinite imprisonment.

Switzerland: UNHCR urges Israel to revive migrants agreement02:13
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The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reconsider his decision to freeze a plan to relocate thousands of African refugees and migrants out of Israel, speaking from Geneva on Tuesday.

An UNHCR spokesperson noted that the agreement 'benefits Israel, the international community and people needing asylum'.

"We stand ready to work with Israel and with countries that will be willing to take some of these refugees in finding a solution for this number of people who are in difficult situation in Israel," he added.

According to the agreement, about 16,000 African migrants in Israel, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, would be relocated over a five-year period to western nations such as Canada and Germany, while others would be allowed to stay.

Israel announced its deportation plan on January 3. According to the plan, African asylum seekers had to voluntarily leave Israel by April 1, in exchange for USD 3,500 (EUR 2,858) per person and a plane ticket; those who refused could face indefinite imprisonment.

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