Sketch: African Asylum Seeker Protests Continue In Israel
Today was the second day of a three day strike by African asylum seekers in Israel, protesting living conditions, indefinite detentions, and the government’s continued refusal to review their request for refugee status.
There are over 50,000 African asylum seekers in Israel today. The majority come Sudan and Eritrea, fleeing civil war or dictatorship and arriving to Israel by foot (that’s more than 1000 miles, conservatively).
Following two weeks of smaller protests, 20,000 African asylum seekers marched on Rabin Square Sunday, the largest protest of its kind thus far. Today, the asylum seekers marched on foreign embassies, calling on the international community to insure Israel meets its commitments under the UN Convention relating the Status of Refugees.
I followed one of the protests to the U.S. embassy, where asylum seekers chanted “we are refugees” and “we need freedom” against a serene backdrop of Mediterranean Sea and cloudless sky. Below are some of my pictures.
For more information about asylum seekers in Israel, I recommend reading +972 Magazine.
"You were also refugees! No imprisonment!"
The Tel Aviv promenade was filled with asylum seekers for blocks.
The protest was at the U.S. embassy, hence the flag.
The obligatory “Israelis getting in a heated sidewalk argument about an unfolding news event.” I joke, but this was probably the centerpiece of some mainstream news coverage.
A police helicopter buzzes ominously overhead.