Netanyahu says Canada, Germany, Italy among countries to take in asylum seekers.
Israel will deport 16,250 refugees to West, grant 16,250 temporary residency status.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Canada, Germany and Italy are among the Western countries that will take in asylum seekers from Israel after the country signed a deal with the UN refugee agency canceling its mass deportation plan.
Speaking at a news conference, Netanyahu said the plan to deport asylum seekers to "a third country" was scrapped when "it became clear that the third country did not meet the conditions," adding that this country "did not withstand the pressure."
Interior Minister Arye Dery added that following tough negotiations with the UNHCR, Israel had agreed to resettle one asylum seeker in a Western country for every asylum seeker awarded temporary residency status in Israel. In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office gave these numbers as 16,250 each.
Currently more than 38,000 asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea live in Israel.
Later on Monday, sources in the Prime Minister's Office explained that Netanyahu merely mentioned those countries (Germany, Italy and Canada) as examples.
According to the sources, the UN – and not Israel – will conduct negotiations with the Western countries involved in the deal.
Italy denied that it will be one of the countries to absorb some of the thousands of African asylum seekers who will be deported from Israel in a new deportation deal Israel announced on Monday, according to the Italian Corriere de la Serra.