Netanyahu Says George Soros Funding Campaign Against Israeli Plan to Deport Asylum Seekers

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset on January 2, 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset on January 2, 2018.Credit: Emil salman

UPDATE: George Soros rejects Netanyahu's claim that he funded campaign against Israel's deportation plan

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Likud ministers on Sunday that Jewish billionaire George Soros is funding a campaign of protest against Israel's plan to deport thousands of African asylum seekers.

In the meeting, Netanyahu said "George Soros is also funding the protests. Obama deported two million infiltrators and they didn't say anything." 

Netanyahu was responding to a comment by Likud minister Ofir Akunis, who said that recent protests were that of extreme leftists, and funded by European countries. 

>> Why Netanyahu hates George Soros so much / Analysis

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.

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.

Over the last few weeks, Israeli professionals, academics and religious figures began staging protests urging the Israeli government to nix its plan to expel tens of thousands of asylum seekers. Some have also announced that they would actively work to foil forced deportations.

According to Immigration and Population Authority figures, there are some 39,000 Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel, including 5,000 children. For now, deportation notices will not be issued to women, children, fathers of children, anyone recognized as a victmim of slavery or human trafficking, and those who had requested asylum by the end of 2017 without response.

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