African Refugees in Israel

In Israel there are 40,000-50,000 African refugees and asylum seekers, most of them from Eritrea and Sudan, but also from the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Hundreds of Africans escape the dangerous situation in their home country and after thousands of kilometers and many hardships, cross the boarder between Egypt and Israel.

On arriving in Israel, they usually get arrested and when the detention houses are full, the Israeli authorities put them in city centers without any medical insurance, health care, housing, professional training, education or any other help to integrate into the country.

Their status is not clear until they get the asylum application, which can take years. The Israeli army has turned back hundreds of African refugees to Egypt, where they've been put in jail or were returned to their country of origin. When large waves of refugees and asylum seekers arrived in Israel at the end of 2007, dozens of them were put in mass shelters in Tel Aviv until a better solution was found.