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Netanyahu Cancels UN's Migrant Deal A Day After Announcing It

The deal would have resettled more than 16,000 asylum-seekers and given temporary residency to thousands more.
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Netanyahu Cancels UN's Migrant Deal A Day After Announcing It

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a deal with the United Nations after announcing it earlier this week.

The deal would have reversed an Israeli policy that forced African asylum-seekers to return to Africa or face arrest. Under the new deal, thousands of those migrants would have been relocated to Western countries that agreed to take them. Many more would have been given temporary residency status within Israel. 

Back in January, Israel gave the asylum-seekers until April to leave the country and offered to provide a plane ticket and $3,500 to anyone willing to leave. In February, authorities started telling some migrants they needed to leave Israel or be put in jail. 

There are an estimated 35,000-39,000 African asylum-seekers in Israel. Now their fate seems even less certain than before, as Netanyahu says his government will "exhaust all possibilities at our disposal to remove the infiltrators."