BEIRUT

Middle East

African migrants protest Israeli treatment

African asylum seekers gather in the shade of trees during a protest after leaving Holot open detention centre in southern Israel's Negev desert, June 28, 2014. (REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Hundreds of African migrants have marched out of an Israeli detention center and are camped out by the Egyptian border after Israel's army prevented them from crossing.

Migrant activists said in a statement Sunday that nearly 1,000 Eritrean and Sudanese migrants left the open detention facility in protest Friday because Israel had not processed their claims for asylum.

The migrants are imploring the U.N. to help resettle them elsewhere.

About 50,000 Africans have poured into Israel in recent years from Egypt. The Africans say they are fleeing persecution and danger. Israel says many are looking for employment.

Some believe Israel's history as a refuge for Holocaust survivors compels it to help the downtrodden. Others fear taking in so many Africans will threaten the country's Jewish character.

 

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