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An Israeli refugee camp in Holot (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Image: Getty Images

African refugees in Israel

Yermi Brenner
June 20, 2014

Israel was one of the first nations to ratify the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. Today, the country struggles with non-Jewish refugees, including 50,000 African asylum-seekers whose fate remains unclear.


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As Israel tries to place additional restrictions on the number of refugees within its borders, most of the roughly 50,000 Africans applying for asylum in the country are likely to remain in limbo.

Many are have been ordered to live in the newly built Holot Detention Center in the Negev desert, which requires them to report to authorities three times per day, limiting their freedom of movement. Many refugees have protested against their treatment, hoping to get residency and work permits.

The asylum-seekers have protested against Israel's treatment, hoping to get rights based on the United Nation Convention on Refugees. But chances seem slim they will be granted refugee status in Israel and be allowed to start a new life.

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