African migrants are seen resting at a playground in Tel Aviv. (File photo)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticized Israel for a new piece of legislation that allows the detention of migrants without charge, stressing that the law is in violation of international human rights regulations.
The HRW refugee program director, Bill Frelick, said in a statement issued on Sunday that the new law “punishes asylum seekers for irregularly crossing into Israel, in violation of their basic rights.”
“Subjecting irregular border-crossers to potential indefinite detention without charge or access to legal representation would violate the prohibition against arbitrary detention under international human rights law,” he added.
On June 3, Tel Aviv announced that migrants who illegally crossed into Israel could face a detention of up to three years.
African migrants have been the target of violent attacks by Israeli protesters in the past few weeks.
“Israeli officials are not only adding rhetorical fuel to the xenophobic fire, but they now have a new law that punishes refugees in violation of international law,” the statement further read.
“The law should be amended immediately, and not enforced until necessary revisions are made.”
According to the Israeli interior ministry statistics, about 60,000 African immigrants, mainly from Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea, have entered Israel illegally.