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Israel's Policies toward Asylum-Seekers: 2002-2014


This article analyses Israel's policies toward Sudanese and Eritrean asylum-seekers from 2002 to 2014, a period during which 60,000 entered the country on account of its lax border with Egypt. After introducing Israel's unique immigration regime the article focuses on Israel's asylum system, emphasizing the low recognition rates and its chaotic "patch work," "on the move" character. The second part examines the ways Israel has made it difficult for asylum-seekers to live within its borders after entering, focusing on their limited access to social and other public services, and, since 2012, the adoption of a policy of prolonged detention without trial and active encouragement of those detained to leave Israel "willingly" to Uganda and Rwanda. Finally, we use interview data to analyse asylum-seekers' daily realities and explore their understanding of and struggle against Israel's immigration and asylum policies.

Paper produced within the framework of the New-Med Research Network, May 2015.

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