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United Nations urges Israel to 'reconsider' canceled migrant deal

United Nations urges Israel to 'reconsider' canceled migrant deal”

Writing in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, Sima Kadmon noted Netanyahu's decision "lasted for just six hours and 45 minutes" before "an important and courageous decision by the prime minister was trampled under the boots of the right wing divisions".

Netanyahu is set to meet with Israeli residents of areas with large migrant populations.

"It is sad, troubling and even a little scary that decisions are made that way", Gabbay said.

Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay slammed the sudden turnaround on Army Radio questioning if defense decisions are also made in the same manner.

Hardliners in Netanyahu's coalition criticized the deal and pressured Netanyahu to suspend it.

Recall that the government of Israel had issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment.

But the fact that thousands more would be allowed to stay raised an outcry from right-wing politicians and on social media from Netanyahu's nationalist voter base, which wants the migrants expelled.

Under the deal, Israel would have sent 16,250 African migrants to western countries, while thousands more would have been granted temporary (five-year) residency in Israel.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday, March 20, said that an electric fence along the Israel-Egypt border had saved the Jewish state from jihadist attacks or what he believed would be worse - a tide of African migrants.

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In a statement on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he held meetings with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and representatives of residents of southern Tel Aviv to discuss the agreement. The prime minister is the subject of police investigations into suspected corruption, which he denies, in the greatest challenges to his career yet.

On Tuesday, however, activists took to the streets of Tel Aviv once again holding signs saying "Stop the deportations!".

Netanyahu originally said that the agreement was a "landmark achievement", allowing 16,250 migrants to be taken to "developed countries like Canada, or Germany and Italy".

A previous plan already underway for a mass deportation of some 20,000 migrants to Rwanda had led to legal challenges in Israel, drew criticism overseas and triggered an emotional public debate among Israelis.

Picture: African migrants and Israelis demonstrating together on February 24th, 2018.

At immigration hearings, migrants were told they could choose to go to Rwanda or Uganda. Critics called the deportation plan unethical and a stain on Israel's image as a refuge for Jewish migrants.

They had initially been given a deadline of April 1, but Israel's supreme court suspended the plan on March 15 while it continued to examine it.

The UNHCR urged Netanyahu today to "reconsider" his decision to annul the deal.



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