HIAS Responds to Israel’s Supreme Court Ruling on African Asylum Seekers

SILVER SPRING, Md.—Today, Israel’s Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing the government to continue deporting African asylum seekers, while also limiting the detention of asylum seekers refusing “voluntary deportation” to a maximum of two months.

In response, Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, issued the following statement:

“Today’s ruling is a partial victory for asylum seekers and their advocates in Israel. HIAS, which is part of a community of Jewish and Israeli organizations assisting asylum seekers in Israel, welcomes the Court's decision to end indefinite detention as a means of pressuring asylum seekers to leave to third countries. At the same time, HIAS remains firmly opposed to Israel's secretive system of deportations to unnamed countries that do not guarantee the protection of the individuals sent there.

“Consistent with Jewish values and human rights, asylum seekers living in Israel must never be sent back into harm’s way. We applaud the Israeli human rights organizations that filed the appeal in this case. HIAS will continue to stand with them in advocating for policies that protect the basic rights of asylum seekers in Israel."


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