Asylum Seekers in Israel


Israel received only a few dozen asylum applications per year since its establishment, yet this number spiked in the last decade when asylum seekers from Africa started arriving in large numbers.  Since 2006, hundreds of migrants have crossed the border each month and Israel responded by enacting containment measures to stop the flow. Today, the number of African asylum seekers in Israel is approximately 40,300.

The vast majority of asylum seekers – over 90% - are from Eritrea and Sudan, many of whom have fled human rights atrocities and survived genocide. Upon arrival to Israel, these two communities are granted group protection status under international guidelines which prohibits the return of Sudanese and Eritrean citizens to their countries of origin. While this enables these populations to temporarily remain in Israel, the status does not provide work and residency rights, forcing them to live on the margins of Israeli society.