Israel is offering a bonus of up to R108 000 to civilians willing to serve as inspectors in the expulsion of asylum seekers. Picture: Jim Hollander / EPA

Johannesburg – Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority is offering a bonus of up to $8 700 (about R108 000) to civilians willing to temporarily serve as inspectors in the expulsion of asylum seekers, daily Haaretz reported.

The immigration authority said it was hiring 100 inspectors on a temporary basis for two year terms from March 2018, as well as 40 investigators for the unit that examines asylum requests.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said it is seriously concerned over Israel's plans, announced on January 1, to forcibly relocate refugees or asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan to countries in Africa.

It noted 80 cases in which people relocated by Israel risked their lives by making dangerous onward journeys to Europe.

“Feeling they had no other choice, they travelled many hundreds of kilometres through conflict zones in South Sudan, Sudan and Libya after being relocated by Israel,” UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler told reporters in Geneva.

Along the way they suffered abuse, torture and extortion before risking their lives once again by crossing the Mediterranean to Italy, he said.

“At a time when UNHCR and partners in the international community are engaged in emergency evacuations from Libya, forced relocation to countries that do not offer effective protection and the onward movement of these people to Libya and Europe is particularly worrisome,” Spindler said.

There are some 27 000 Eritreans and 7 700 Sudanese nationals in Israel, but since 2009, when the country took over determination of refugee status from the UNHCR, it has only recognised 10 Eritreans and one Sudanese as such.

Israel has not received any Eritreans or Sudanese since May 2016.

African News Agency/ANA