Israel will release 207 African migrants from prison following a supreme court ruling after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu controversially reversed a deal with the UN refugee agency on the detainees’ fate.
There are around 42,000 African migrants in Israel. Authorities transferred 207 of them from a nearby open detention facility in February after they refused to leave the country.
Israel’s supreme court on April 10 gave the government until Sunday to finalise a deal it said it was working on to deport some of the migrants to another country.
Without a deal, the court said authorities must release those held at Saharonim prison.
“In light of the fact that the negotiations between Israel and a third country are still ongoing and due to a supreme court ruling, the migrants held in Saharonim prison will be freed today,” the immigration service said in a statement.
Uganda said on Friday it was “positively considering” a proposal from Israel to accept 500 of the mostly Eritrean and Sudanese migrants.