JERUSALEM, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- An Israeli legal official says a controversial plan to deport a group of Sudanese migrants is legal because they are not asylum-seekers.
Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai announced this week a group of Sudanese nationals who are in Israel illegally will be placed in detention facilities and deported beginning Oct. 15, Ynetnews.com reported.
The decision created an uproar among rights groups.
"Sudan is listed as an enemy state and the Israeli authorities are well aware that they cannot deport the asylum-seekers from Sudan because their lives are in real danger," one activist said. "It's unfortunate that Israel chooses this moment to ignore reality."
An senior Israeli legal expert, who was not named, told Ynetsnew.com that deporting the Sudanese migrants is completely legal.
"It's a misrepresentation to call these people refugees. They would not receive protection anywhere." he said.
"They aren't asylum-seekers and there is no reason to grant them group protection. They don't receive that kind of protection anywhere else in the world either. The U.N. agency for refugees has not ordered not to deport North Sudanese nationals."