Israel is paying its citizens to help deport asylum seekers

Israel is paying its citizens to help deport asylum seekers

israel holot detention center

Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

Asylum seekers who are being held take part in a day of protest at the of Holot detention center where hundreds of migrants are being held on February 17, 2014 in the southern Negev desert of Israel. More than 50,000 illegal African migrants are seeking asylum after escaping war and government repression in their native lands.

  • Israel will offer $8,700 to civilians who sign on to help the government forcibly deport asylum seekers.
  • The country announced it will, by March, evacuate its main detention center, which houses thousands of asylum seekers from war-torn countries including Sudan and Eritrea.
  • Those who don't leave by March face "enforcement action."

Israel will offer a cash reward to civilians who temporarily sign on to help the government deport its asylum seekers, Haaretz has reported.

The Population and Immigration Authority published a notice on Sunday that it will offer up to 30,000 shekels ($8,700) to citizens who become "inspectors" for the unit that manages asylum requests.

The ministry's job ad states it is looking for 100 inspectors on a temporary two-year basis starting March 2018, as well as 40 investigators to examine and monitor asylum seeker requests and whereabouts.

Last week, the Authority announced it would be evacuating its main Holot detention center in the south within coming months. Those in the center were given notice they must either leave the country or face indefinite incarceration, according to Haaretz.


The government will also offer cash incentives through a repatriation program called "Assisted Voluntary Return." The program offers to assist asylum seekers - referred to as "infiltrators" - with purchasing a plane ticket, obtaining travel documents, protection from arrest and $3,500.

The program applies to citizens of Sudan, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, and countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

If asylum seekers do not leave within three months the program also specifies "enforcement action" will be taken.

The United Nations refugee agency expressed serious concern over Israel's decision to forcibly remove refugees on Tuesday. The agency said they have identified 80 cases in which asylum seekers relocated by Israel "risked their lives" by taking dangerous journeys to reach their next destination.

"The UN High Commission for Refugees stands ready to work with Israel to find alternative solutions for the protection needs of asylum seekers, in line with international standards," said the agency's spokesman William Spindler.


Israel has become a temporary shelter to an influx of thousands of asylum seekers from war-torn countries like Sudan and Eritrea.