Sudanese migrants preparing to fly back to their home country
Four-year-old South Sudanese girl Nyot Koang Gai carries a South Sudanese flag as she walks with her mother upon departure from Israel, June 17, 2012. Photo by Reuters / Baz Ratner
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Israel continues to keep a low media profile regarding the weekly flights of deportees to South Sudan. The next flight will take place on Wednesday from Ben-Gurion International Airport, aboard an aircraft operated by Corendon, a Turkish charter airline.

Approximately 150 unlawful migrants are expected to be on board. Last week’s flight of deportees to South Sudan was operated by Ethiopian Airlines.

The Population and Immigration Authority has been holding a new tender offering each week for the special flight to South Sudan. Two weeks ago, in the authority’s third flight, Arkia flew the deportees back home – the first time an Israeli airline had won the tender. The 180-passenger flight was assigned the code of a Moldavian airline.  

The first flight, which left in, June was operated by Corendon, the Turkish airline, and the second flight, a week later, was operated by Ethiopian Airlines. Both companies regularly operate in Israel.

The number of deportees, which started at 130 on the first flight, has gradually increased with each passing week.

Before the first flight, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, arrived at the terminal to speak with the migrants before their departure, said he did not “belittle the pain of the families returning home,” but added that between Sudan’s interest and that of Israel, Yishai chooses the latter.

“I hope that citizens of North Sudan and Eritrea will return to their homes and countries – this will inevitably happen. We need to guard our home, with all the sensitivity and pain that that entails.”