African migrants in Israel have stated that they prefer going to prison in the European country than return to Africa.
Israeli Government has offered those who choose to leave by the end of March a cash incentive of $3,500.
The plan to force African migrants out of the country has also drawn criticism from the United Nations’ refugee agency.
Rwandans and Ugandans at Holot told Aljezera that returning to their different countries hold no prospects for them.
They said they had rather be imprisoned in Israel than embark on another journey into the unknown.
At a detention centre in Israel’s Negev desert, some of the migrants facing deportation said dying in Israeli prison would be a better option than returning.
“I won’t go there,” Abda Ishmael, a 28-year-old Eritrean, said in excellent Hebrew outside Holot, an open facility housing some 1,200 migrants and set to be shut down on April 1 as part of the government’s expulsion policy.
“Guys who were here and went to Rwanda and Uganda — we saw what happened to them,” he said.
Israel is working to expel thousands of Eritreans and Sudanese who entered illegally over the years, giving them an ultimatum: ‘leave by April 1 or risk being imprisoned indefinitely’.