South Sudanese migrants who entered Israel illegally are to be deported, an Israeli court has ruled.
A petition by human rights groups had delayed the interior ministry's deportation order of 1st April, Guardian.co.uk reported.
The Jerusalem District Court on Thursday ruled that the human rights groups did not provide evidence that the 1,500 South Sudanese would face real physical danger if removed to their home country.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai praised the ruling, calling it “the first step in the expulsion of all the infiltrators [in Israel],” The Jerusalem Post reported.
William Tall of the UN High Commission for Refugees said the Jerusalem court’s support for the Interior Ministry’s removal of “collective protection” status for the South Sudanese appeared to be in line with the formal end of their country’s war with Sudan.
“We have been assured by the government that they [the South Sudanese] still enjoy the individual opportunity to apply for asylum,” Tall told Reuters, noting that continued territorial disputes between Khartoum and Juba may still justify refugee claims.
The Interior Minister Yishai said he had ordered immigration inspectors to start detaining South Sudanese people and preparing their deportation, Guardian.co.uk reported.