Some 300 Israelis staged an anti-migrant protest in Tel Aviv on the evening of Thursday, August 30 (local time), claiming that the Israeli government had reneged on its vow to banish thousands of Sub-Saharan asylum seekers primarily from low-income neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv. The demonstration reportedly took place on Levinsky Street in southern Tel Aviv, between the Florentin neighborhood and the Central Bus Station locale. Additional anti-migrant protests are possible in Tel Aviv in the coming weeks.
On April 2, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the cancelation of a controversial policy, originally declared January 1, which would have deported thousands of African migrants from Israel, following an agreement with the UNHCR. The deportation plan had stipulated that single men who were considered economic migrants were to be subject to deportation; families, women, and children with pending asylum requests submitted before 2018 would be allowed to stay in Israel. However, Netanyahu's April 2 decision to cancel the deportation policy was later reversed by him on April 3, leaving the future status of many Sub-Saharan African migrants residing in Israel in a general state of uncertainty. As of late August, the future of the policy remains unclear.
Around 35,000 sub-Saharan African migrants, many of Eritrean and Sudanese origin, currently reside in Israel. Anti-migrant protesters have blamed the asylum seekers for being behind rising crime rates in Tel Aviv.
Individuals in Tel Aviv are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and to adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
In general, due to the underlying terrorist threat, travelers in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are advised to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities and to remain vigilant when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted in an attack (popular gatherings, public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, prominent hotels and restaurants, etc.). As a reminder, some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.
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