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Thousands of African asylum seekers, who have been held indefinitely in an Israeli detention facility without charge, collectively marched out on Friday, with no intention of returning.

Many of the detainees were rounded up last year from cities around Israel and placed in the Holot detention center after Israel passed the Prevention of Infiltration Law. This law provides for the imprisonment of the asylum seekers for up to one year, with indefinite detention options after such time.

Some Israeli lawmakers see the Africans, who are seeking asylum from a number of countries, including Sudan, as demographic threats needing to be removed. Israel has been using the detention facility as a way to pressure asylum seekers to agree to deportation, informing them that doing so would be the only way for them to leave the detention facility.

Today, thousands decided to march out in protest, with no intention of returning of their own volition.

Thousands of African asylum seekers leave Holot detention center in Israel, June 25, 2014. (Oren Ziv/ via +972 Magazine.
The African asylum seekers, held without charge, have no intention of returning. (Oren Ziv/ via +972 Magazine.
Today's march is on in a series of protests and actions African asylum seekers, and their Israeli supporters, have taken to highlight their plight in Israel, including demonstrations at the facility and freedom marches.
African asylum seekers protest their detention at the Holot facility in Israel.
With the asylum seekers marching in the desert, their fate remains unclear as Israel faces the specter of re-arresting and detaining thousands of innocent people.

What is clear is this: their plight is becoming more visible with this desperate action.


What Do You Buy For the Children 
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, recently published by Oneworld Publications.


Israeli soldiers are confronting the asylum seekers, who have marched toward the Egyptian border near the Holot detention facility:


Photo via Activestills / +972 Magazine

For more coverage, follow this story on +972 Magazine.

Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Fri Jun 27, 2014 at 07:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon.

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