Israel delays removal of Philippine worker

A Philippine migrant mother carries her Israeli-born teenage child, Rohan, during a protest against deportation in Tel Aviv, Israel. (AFP)
Updated 12 August 2019

Israel delays removal of Philippine worker

  • Last week, migrants, their children and Israelis staged a protest in Tel Aviv against the policy of deporting Israeli-born children of migrants

JERUSALEM: The deportation of a Filipino migrant worker and her Israeli-born teenage son was delayed at the 11th hour to await a final decision on their fate.

Rosemarie Perez was arrested by immigration officials along with her 13-year-old son Rohan last Tuesday for remaining in the country illegally.

They were taken to Ben-Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on Sunday night but later taken off the plane, said Beth Franco of the United Children of Israel (UCI) association.

The lawyer for the family, Carmel Bensur, has requested an urgent hearing on their status in a bid to have them remain in Israel, she told AFP.

On Sunday, a court had rejected Perez’s plea to stay, immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP.

“She has been here illegally for 10 years,” Haddad said.

UCI argues that it is cruel to send Rohan — and other children of migrants — to a country they have never seen and where they do not speak the language.

Last week, migrants, their children and Israelis staged a protest in Tel Aviv against the policy of deporting Israeli-born children of migrants.

Many of the 28,000 — largely Christian — Filipinos in Israel arrived to work as caregivers and home help, but according to UCI, some 600 families could now face expulsion over a loss of residency status.

Visas were conditioned on the requirement that they do not start a family in the country apart from certain exceptions, the association says.

The issue has particular resonance in Israel, where there are long-term fears about maintaining a Jewish majority in the country founded as a national homeland for Jews in the wake of the Holocaust.


Egypt to press for outside mediator in Ethiopia dam dispute

Updated 20 October 2019

Egypt to press for outside mediator in Ethiopia dam dispute

  • Egyptian officials said they had suggested the World Bank as a fourth party mediator
  • Ethiopia has denied that three-way talks are stalled, accusing Egypt of trying to sidestep the process

CAIRO: Egypt will push Ethiopia this week to agree to an external mediator to help resolve a deepening dispute over a giant hydropower dam being built on Ethiopia's Blue Nile, officials said on Sunday.
Egypt sees the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as an existential risk, fearing it will threaten scarce water supplies in Egypt and power generation at its own dam in Aswan.
Cairo says it has exhausted efforts to reach an agreement on the conditions for operating GERD and filling the reservoir behind it, after years of three-party talks with Ethiopia and Sudan.
Ethiopia has denied that three-way talks are stalled, accusing Egypt of trying to sidestep the process.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to raise the demand for a mediator when he meets Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during a Russian-African summit in Russia this week.
"We're hoping this meeting might produce an agreement on the participation of a fourth party," an Egyptian foreign ministry official told journalists at a briefing. "We're hopeful to reach a formula in the next few weeks."
Egyptian officials said they had suggested the World Bank as a fourth party mediator, but were also open to the role being filled by a country with technical experience on water sharing issues such as the United States, or the European Union.
Recent proposals put forward by Egypt for a flexible reservoir-filling process and a guaranteed annual flow of 40 billion cubic metres were rejected by Ethiopia.
The latest rounds of talks in Cairo and Khartoum over the past two months ended in acrimony. "The gap is getting wider," the Egyptian foreign ministry official said.
Egypt draws almost all of its fresh water supplies from the Nile, and is faced with worsening water scarcity for its population of nearly 100 million. It says it is working to reduce the amount of water used in agriculture.
Hydrologists consider a country to be facing water scarcity if supplies drop below 1,000 cubic metres per person per year.
Egypt currently has around 570 cubic metres per person per year, a figure that is expected to drop to 500 cubic metres by 2025, without taking into account any reduction in supply caused by GERD, Egyptian officials said.
Ethiopia is expected to start filling the GERD reservoir next year.