The Atlantic

Netanyahu's Incredible Flip-Flop on African Migrants

First he planned to deport 40,000 people from Israel. Then he backed off. And now…?
Source: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

Updated April 3 at 10:05 a.m. EST

Benjamin Netanyahu made two major announcements on Monday, completely reversing his administration’s policy on the roughly 40,000 African asylum-seekers in Israel—twice. First, the Israeli prime minister declared that he had scrapped a plan to deport these migrants to third-party countries such as Rwanda or Uganda, instead taking in as many as 16,000 and routing 16,000 more for resettlement in Western countries through the United Nations refugee agency. The decision followed months of massive protests against the proposed forcible removals, which were formally announced earlier this year, and a court ruling that had temporarily halted the deportation plan.

But then, hours later, Netanyahu appeared to renege, despite having apparently signed an international

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