Migrants freed from detention 'going back to work in Tel Aviv'
Paz, who met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week to propose various contingency plans to deal with the migrants, asked angrily why they don’t head to the refuge cities prepared for them.
“Were enclosures not made for them? Are there not lists of thousands of people on kibbutzim and moshavim who are prepared to host them? Suddenly, when there is no deportation tomorrow, they don’t need to host them?,” she asked
Some 200 additional migrants are still being held at the Saharonim detention centre in southern Israel awaiting possible deportation to Uganda but their fate depends on whether an Israeli envoy who visited the east African state on Wednesday had managed to secure a deal for them to be taken in.
In the event agreement is not reached, they too will be freed, probably on Thursday. The long-term fate of the freed migrants was unclear but Netanyahu said he was seeking a new relocation deal, although he gave no details.
Netanyahu said on Tuesday he was cancelling an agreement with the UN refugee agency to relocate thousands of African migrants, bowing to right-wing pressure at home to scrap the deal.
Netanyahu's critics seized on his backtracking on the arrangement—under which thousands of other migrants would have won the right to remain in Israel—as a sign of political weakness.
For the estimated 37,000 migrants in Israel, most of them from Eritrea and Sudan, the whirlwind of announcements over the past three days about their future has swept their status even deeper into limbo.
On Monday, Netanyahu announced the arrangement with the UNHCR that would have relocated about 16,250 migrants to Western countries.
But the fact that thousands more would be allowed to stay raised an outcry from right-wing politicians and on social media from Netanyahu's nationalist voter base, which wants the migrants expelled. He then announced he was putting the agreement's implementation on hold and by Tuesday, he nixed it altogetherThe 58 migrants released from Saharonim in the south of the country boarded buses to Tel Aviv. They were freed because the state could not give assurances to the Supreme Court that it had found a safe haven for them abroad.
Several hundred migrants held a demonstration in central Jerusalem later on Wednesday demanding to be allowed to stay and for the forced deportations to be stopped.