Australia dodges pressure to take more African migrants - for now

April 04, 2018

Hours after touting an agreement with the United Nations to resettle thousands of African migrants, Israel’s prime minister scrapped the deal due to pressure from hawks in his coalition.

Fox News reports, Benjamin Netanyahu said he “decided to cancel the agreement” after meeting with residents south of areas with large migrant populations who feel slighted by the deal. Israel's move to placate the UN had the potential to further pressure Australia’s already bloated immigrant intake.

Australian Conservatives' policy position is to halve our immigration rate to ensure it operates in the national interest.

The Israeli prime minister had announced the arrangement with the U.N. on Monday – a deal which called for sending about half of the 35,000 African migrants in Israel to Western nations and allowing the rest to remain.

However, some hours later Netanyahu posted on his Facebook page that he was putting its implementation on hold until further review, “I have listened carefully to the many comments on the agreement. As a result, and after I again weighed the advantages and disadvantages, I decided to cancel the deal.”

He continued: “Despite legal restraints and international difficulties that are piling up, we will continue to act with determination to explore all of the options at our disposal to remove the infiltrators.”

Hardliners in Netanyahu's coalition strongly criticized the deal for allowing thousands of Africans to remain after the prime minister announced it.

The Africans started arriving in 2005 after neighbouring Egypt violently quashed a refugee demonstration and word spread of safety and job opportunities in Israel. Tens of thousands crossed the porous desert border with Egypt before Israel completed a barrier in 2012 that stopped the influx.

To read Lucia I. Suarez Sang's full story, click here.

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