TEL AVIV: Abraham Alu, a 35-year-old asylum seeker from South Sudan, hasn’t left his apartment in south Tel Aviv for five days. He has run out of money and food. But he is too scared of the immigration police to venture further than the courtyard.
Alu used to sell plastic work boots on a busy pedestrian thoroughfare in south Tel Aviv but he stopped last Thursday, immediately after an Israeli court effectively ruled to deport South Sudanese nationals.
Although the state promised to give the South Sudanese community a week to leave of their own free will, police started rounding them up just three days later.
Rights groups put the number of those affected at around 700 men, women and children, while Israeli officials claim there are more than twice that number.
In the past, Alu shared his small, one-room apartment with 12 other men. But, as many South Sudanese have stopped working for fear of being caught by the police, the number has swelled to 20.
There aren’t enough mats to go around. Skinny men rest on the dirty, threadbare carpets.
“Sometimes we’re sitting two days without food. We drink water and tea. That’s enough,” says Alu, his hands shaking as he takes a sip
Category: South Sudan News