Change Region:Northern Ireland

ICEJ Caring for Sudanese Refugees

African Christians, Muslims flee to Israel

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
Posted on: 
14 Nov 2006 (All day)
ICEJ Caring for Sudanese Refugees

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem on Sunday assumed responsibility over a group of 37 Sudanese refugees (18 children, 19 adults) who had entered Israel near Eilat over the weekend to reach what they described as "safety" and "freedom." 

Israeli humanitarian authorities approached the ICEJ on Friday with an urgent request to take care of the Sudanese refugees after they arrived from Egypt overnight with assistance from local Bedouins. The Christian Embassy agreed and placed them Sunday in the Imperial Hotel inside Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem for the next three weeks, until they can be processed and absorbed into Israeli kibbutzim and moshavim. 

The group consists of 10 Sudanese families who have fled the genocide and ethnic cleansing campaign of the Khartoum government. Two families are Muslims from Darfur, while the remainder are Christians from south Sudan. Seven of the children are under two years of age, and two women in the group are pregnant. 

"These destitute Sudanese refugees told us today that they came to Israel because here their human rights can be respected and they will be free from danger," said ICEJ executive director Malcolm Hedding. "We were happy to assist the state of Israel by caring for them at this time." 

The refugees spoke of not only the violence and atrocities they faced in Sudan, but added that they were mistreated in Egypt, with some beaten on the streets and imprisoned under harsh conditions. 

"It is remarkable that while some highly educated British academics consider Israel a racist and immoral country, these simple Sudanese refugees seem to know better," noted Hedding. "Israel has a reputation among them as a place of freedom, safety and decency. Since more Sudanese are likely to come, our ministry is gearing up to help Israel be a 'light to the nations' in caring for them." 

"The Sudanese question is one that begs for greater global participation in order to help those suffering in Sudan from Islamic radicalism and genocide," concluded Hedding." 

UNHCR officials are expected to visit the group of 37 Sudanese refugees in the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday and verify their refugee status under an international genocide treaty. 

An increasing number of Sudanese refugees fleeing Darfur and other conflict zones have been entering Israel through Egypt in recent weeks. Due to their UN refugee status, Israel is obligated to care for them. The Jewish state also feels a moral obligation to aid and assist victims of the genocide campaign in Sudan due to the unique tragedy of the Holocaust. 

Israeli authorities approached the ICEJ to assist with this group of Sudanese because the Christian Embassy was already preparing to launch a new aid relief project to help Israel handle this influx of refugees.

*           *           * 

For more information: 
David Parsons, ICEJ 052-381-6214;  OR 
Dani Wassner, Ruder Finn Israel, 054-467-6961; 

If you would like to make a donation, please click here and mark your gift as "Operation Hope: Help Sudanese Refugees in Israel."