Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot" reports that Israel has proposed to South Sudan to set up camps for refugees and migrants on its territory. South Sudan President Salva Kiir visited Israel last, and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They discussed the return of refugees and migrants to countries of origin in Africa, including South Sudan, which won its independence in July. They agreed that an Israeli delegation would go to South Sudan to examine ways to help its development.
During the visit, officials proposed to President Kiir that Israel set up camps for refugees and migrants who will be repatriated. Former Ministry of Defense deputy director general Victor Bar-Gil would be responsible for building the camps.
In the past few months, Israel has repatriated hundreds of South Sudanese, on secret flights, calling it "voluntary repatriation". According to Israeli authorities, these refugees account for just 8,000 of Israel's residents, and the UN says that fewer than 2,000 of them come from South Sudan.
"Yediot Ahronot" says that a record 2,676 migrants entered Israel in November, and 13,581 entered since the beginning of the year.
Israel has already announced several measures to deal with the issue of migrants. Two weeks ago, the cabinet approved completing the fence along the border with Egypt within a year, and expanding the detention facility at Saharonim. The plan will cost NIS 630 million on top of the NIS 1.5 billion already spent.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 27, 2011
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