Georgian Foreign Ministry denies mass detention of Georgians in Israel

The Georgian Foreign Ministry confirms that more than 20 Georgian citizens will be deported from Israel.Photo: Al Jazeera., 13 Jun 2019 - 12:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Foreign Ministry has denied the mass detention of Georgian citizens in Israel as reported by several of Georgian media outlets.

The ministry reported earlier today that 24 Georgians have been brought to the deportation centre of Israel’s immigration service in the past few days.

Israel constantly checks foreign nationals in the country and if they find those living and working illegally, such individuals are deported from the country,” the ministry stated.

The ministry says that 12 of 24 Georgian nationals already have tickets and they have been informed regarding the deportation date.

Georgian citizens were allowed to travel visa free to Israel in 2014.

Georgia is now negotiating with the country to allow for the legal employment of Georgians.

The number of Georgian nationals seeking political asylum in Israel significantly decreased in  2017, Georgia’s Consul to Israel Aleksandre Jishkariani said.

More than 3,050 Georgian citizens requested asylum in Israel in 2016. 

Jishkariani stated that the reason for the decrease was listing Georgia as a safe country by Israel in February 2017, which meant no one was considered politically prosecuted  in Georgia.