Israel’s High Court mandated on Monday that desert detention facilities that house African migrants be closed within three months.
In a 7-2 decision, the High Court of Justice ordered authorities to stop detaining African migrants at the Holot detention center in the Negev.
Although African migrants who’ve been rounded up and taken to these detention centers without so much as a human rights hearing applauded the decision, Israel’s Interior Minister fiercely opposed the court’s decision.
According to The Times of Israel, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said he could “not accept the verdict of the High Court,” since it would mean Israel “won’t have a Jewish democratic state because our borders will be overrun… with illegal infiltrators.”
Sa’ar now plans to pass new legislation to thwart the high court’s decision.
BreakingBrown reported on the illegal detention in July:
African migrants who entered the country illegally were ordered to leave their homes and jobs and report to Israel’s Holot detention camp. Although the Israeli government had promised to review applications for asylum, many of the migrants claim that they are being indefinitely held and the Israeli government is using the detention center to pressure migrants to voluntarily depart Israel to third party countries.
According to the Washington Post, Israel has taken other measures to keep African migrants out:
It has built a fence along its 220-kilometer (130-mile) border with Egypt, offered cash to migrants to return home, reached out to other countries to take them in and in many cases detained them.
“We cannot continue living in a cage in the desert, with no release date and no judicial review,” said a peaceful in a statement, according to Vice. “We have no more tolerance to stay in prison, and we call on the international community to take care of us.”