Children of African Eritrean migrants play at a makeshift kindergarten in southern Tel Aviv on September 4, 2017. AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA
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Tens of thousands of Africans who fled misery at home for safety in Israel are living in limbo, fearing deportation though some have lived in the country for more than a decade. Recognizing a rising tide of discontent among Israelis over the migrants' presence in south Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently visited the area.Israeli government figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese.A 2016 U.N. commission of inquiry into Eritrea's harsh regime found "widespread and systematic" crimes against humanity and said an estimated 5,000 people flee the country each month.Migrants started coming in large numbers across the porous border between Israel and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in 2007, when nearly 5,000 entered, Interior Ministry figures show.In 2012, an anti-migrant demonstration in Tel Aviv drew about 1,000 protesters.Israel's Supreme Court ruled last month that open-ended imprisonment is illegal and that migrants can be held for no more than 60 days.Goytiom has been in Israel for eight years, but he would not choose to stay in Israel.
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