George Soros on Sunday fended off accusations by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claiming the former is behind a campaign smearing the Israeli government for planning to deport thousands of African asylum seekers and calling on it to reverse its policy.
"Contrary to the false claim by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, George Soros is not funding any protests against Israel's plan to deport thousands of African asylum seekers," a spokesperson for Soros said, adding that Soros "adamantly believes that, in accordance with the 1951 Refugee Convention and international law, it is wrong to forcibly send asylum seekers back to countries where they might be persecuted or killed."
Netanyahu's earlier remarks aimed at Soros were made in response to a comment by Likud minister Ofir Akunis, who said that recent protests were that of extreme leftists, and funded by European countries.
"George Soros is also funding the protests. Obama deported two million infiltrators and they didn't say anything," Netanyahu told Likud ministers.
Last year, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ran a campaign against Soros, accusing him of using "his wealth, power, influence and a network of non-governmental organizations" to settle millions of migrants in Hungary and the European Union.
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The Immigration and Population Authority began issuing deportation notices to asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan on Sunday. Men without children who submit their residence visas for renewal will receive their last visa along with a letter stating that they are expected to leave the country in the following sixty days. Otherwise, they can expect to be incarcerated indefinitely.
Authority personnel will suggest that they leave either for Rwanda or their native countries. A grant of $3,500 will be given to them at the airport before boarding the plane.