Friday, August 24, 2007


I don't usually do this but it's necessary because of the Age and Ed O'Loughlin's recent assault on Israel over its policy on Sudanese refugees.
Press Release from the Embassy of the State of Israel:


23 August 2007

Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people who suffered tremendously from persecution, are not indifferent to the suffering of others and wish to express shock and extreme concern regarding the humanitarian situation in Darfur and Sudan.

In light of the situation, Israel has initiated a relief program for Darfur and Sudanese refugees. This is comprised of aid provided by Israeli civil organizations and contribution to UN agencies through the donation of Israeli products, equipment and medical assistance.

Hundreds of asylum seekers of Sudanese origin have arrived in Israel from Egypt. Israel only sent back a small number (46 people) to Egypt, once it had guarantees by the UNHCR and Egypt that the asylum seekers would not be sent back to Sudan.

Israel is very aware of the tragedy in Darfur. It must be remembered that Israel has no diplomatic relations with this country and there is a significant presence of Al Qa’ida operatives in Darfur. For the safety of the Israeli people, the asylum seekers must be questioned to ensure they are not a potential security threat.

Israel is willing to take part in a multilateral solution to the problem, but cannot be the only answer. We call on international organizations and other states to work together to find a long term resolution. In particular, we ask that Egypt, a state signatory to the Refugee Convention and the country from which the asylum seekers are entering Israel, to join with Israel in finding a solution.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government is doing its utmost to ensure that the asylum seekers stay in Israel is as comfortable as possible.

Dor Shapira
Embassy Spokesperson
Embassy of Israel

No comments: