Israeli Government Approves Bill Advocating Expulsion of Asylum Seekers

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Asylum seekers at the Holot detention facility in southern Israel.
Asylum seekers at the Holot detention facility in southern Israel.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The Knesset approved on Monday a bill advocating the expulsion of asylum seekers, also known as the anti-infiltration bill. Seventy-one lawmakers supported the bill and 41 opposed it. 

Among other measures, the bill would see asylum seekers imprisoned if they violate the geographical limitations imposed on them. Furthermore, the legislation would have the Holot open detention center for asylum seekers shut down in mid-March if no further extension is approved.

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In addition, the law would extend the penalization of employers who hire asylum seekers, and would extend the ban on asylum seekers taking money out of the country.

The decision to close Holot coincides with a government plan to expel Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to a third country. Last Tuesday, an attorney of the State Prosecutor's Office told the High Court of Justice that the government plans to begin deportations within the next few weeks.

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