Israel said Thursday there is a high probability that African migrants will be deported to Uganda.
A document submitted to the High Court of Justice showed the Israeli government requested permission to extend the detention of 212 Sudanese and Eritrean migrants in a holding facility until a final deal was reached.
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said there is a “high probability” the required conditions will be finalized for Israel to proceed with the deportations.
The Israeli government sent a special envoy to Uganda to facilitate a final deal. However, the Ugandan president’s office said it knew of no deal.
“There is no special representative from the State of Israel who is in Uganda to coordinate anything,” the office said in a statement.
“Israel should prove that they have sent a representative, who it is and who they are coordinating with. Uganda has no information whatsoever about this representative.”
Israel’s plan comes after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to — and then later canceled a deal with the United Nations to resettle the African migrants.
The deal, which Netanyahu announced Monday, would have stopped the forced deportation of 16,000 African migrants from Israel to African countries and would’ve instead sent them to Western countries.
Another 16,000 migrants would’ve been offered the opportunity to live in Israel for five more years.
Netanyahu later ended the deal, saying he would continue to work to “remove the infiltrators.”
Before the Israel-U.N. deal was brokered, the Israeli government originally planned to give about 38,000 migrants the option of indefinite imprisonment in Israel, or $3,500 and a plane ticket to their home countries — or to Rwanda or Uganda.
By Sara Shayanian