Deportation of Illegal African Migrants Delayed Until After Passover

African migrants pose for a photograph in front of the Holot detention center in the Negev Desert, southern Israel. Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. A high Israeli court has condemned the government’s policy of detaining illegal African migrants captured in the Negev Desert, ordering that the Holot detention facility be closed …
AP/Tsafrir Abayov

TEL AVIV – Israel will postpone deporting illegal African migrants until after Passover due to an ongoing court case.

The Supreme Court of Justice on Tuesday conceded a request from the government for an extension on its order for a deportation policy brief. The original deadline was March 26 and has been extended until April 9, immediately after the Jewish festival.

The policy is expected to include classified dossiers that are likely to contain information on third party countries that Israel is planning on deporting to.

Earlier this month, the high court froze deportations in response to a petition.

The state has said it will extend refugee status to Sudanese migrants from the Nuba area, as well as 300 refugees from Darfur.

In February, the Interior Ministry began issuing thousands of deportation notices to single Eritrean and Sudanese men who entered the country illegally, informing them that they have 60 days to leave Israel to an unnamed African country with a “stable government” or else face forced removal or imprisonment. Those who leave of their own were promised a $3,500 grant in addition to an entry visa for the third country, most likely Rwanda and Uganda.

At the time, the ministry said a minimum of 300 African migrants per month over the next three years will be deported.

There are around 38,000 Eritreans and Sudanese living in Israel.

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