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Israel Reaches Deal with UN to Resettle Illegal African Migrants

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

The Times of Israel reports: Israel will cancel plans to expel asylum seekers to third-party countries in Africa after reaching an “unprecedented” deal with the United Nations, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Monday.

According to the agreement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will work to find homes in Western countries for at least 16,250 of the asylum seekers in Israel, while Israel will agree to give permanent status to the remainder — estimated at around 18,000.

The PMO said most of those who will stay would have remained in Israel in any event. The new deal is to be phased in over the next five years in three stages, though the PMO did not specify the details.

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