JERUSALEM — Israel has reached an agreement to send thousands of African migrants to an unidentified country, according to a court document obtained Monday, a plan that has elicited criticism over its potential harm to the migrants.
The plan, if implemented, is an attempt to address one of Israel’s more pressing issues: what to do with an influx of roughly 60,000 African migrants who have sneaked into Israel from Egypt over the past eight years.
Their arrivals have put Israel in a bind. Many Israelis believe that the Jewish state, founded in part as a refuge for Holocaust survivors after World War II, has a responsibility to help the downtrodden. But others fear that taking in tens of thousands of Africans will threaten the country’s Jewish character and question the extent of Israel’s moral obligations beyond those of other nations.
Most of the migrants have come from Eritrea or Sudan, some fleeing repressive regimes and others looking for work.