The Times of Israel reports: In a dramatic about-face, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday evening that he was freezing a new agreement with the UN refugee agency that would have seen thousands of African migrants given temporary status in Israel — mere hours after announcing the plan.
“I hear you, and especially the residents of south Tel Aviv,” Netanyahu said in a (Hebrew) Facebook post amid mounting right-wing criticism of the deal. “For the time being, I am suspending the agreement,” he added, noting that he would meet with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and residents of south Tel Aviv, where many of the migrants reside, before reconsidering it.
It was his third statement on the issue in a matter of hours. In the afternoon, at a press conference alongside Deri, Netanyahu had praised the plan, saying that it would see some 16,250 African migrants in Israel resettled in “developed” Western countries, while a similar number would be given temporary residency.
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