Israel Refuses Asylum to Ukrainians and Georgians

Israel has granted asylum status to zero people from Ukraine and Georgia. In reality, Israel very rarely grants asylum to anyone. In the past decade, just eight Eritreans and one Sudanese have successfully received refugee status in Israel, despite the fact that approximately 56% of Sudanese and 87% of Eritreans who petition for refugee status around the world generally receive it. 

According to the Population Immigration and Border Administration, over the last three years, Ukrainians and Georgians submitted 21,691 asylum applications, accounting for the vast majority of asylum applications over the past years. 

In 2015, 703 Ukrainians submitted asylum applications, but that number jumped to 6,880 in 2016. In the first half of 2017, Ukrainians have already submitted almost 6,000 asylum applications to PIBA. 

In 2013, there was just one application for asylum from a Georgian citizen. This number climbed to 27 in 2014, 736 in 2015, and 3,668 in 2016, according to Globes ( Georgian migrants are overwhelmingly looking for better economic opportunities, though they claim they are persecuted as members of the political opposition. 

From Israel, Ukrainians were increasingly deported. The Israeli authorities officially recognized Ukraine as a safe country. Therefore, the citizens of this country are no longer simply expelled from Israel, but do it according to the legislative procedure. 

Often, Israeli border guards refuse entry to the country even to tourists. In early February, a 21-year-old Ukrainian woman was deported from the airport, who arrived in Israel with a group of pilgrims. She had a return ticket, but the border guards suspected that the girl had arrived in the country for a completely different purpose. 

Experts explain that many citizens of Ukraine, under the guise of tourists, come to Israel to work. In 2017, the country's authorities counted 70,000 illegal immigrants from the countries of the former USSR, most of them Ukrainians. Some of them remain and have asked to be granted refugee status.

By Dimitri Dolaberidze

28 February 2018 15:02