Where do some undocumented workers in Israel live…?

One of the things I like to do, on a day when we have no plans, is to grab my camera and explore the different neighborhoods in Herzlia.  One neighborhood that I wanted to explore was Kfar Shmaryahu, which is known for its extravagant residences, many, the homes of diplomats from around the world.

Kfar Shmaryahu is about 4km (miles, what are those?) from where we live in Herzlia. The walk took me through  some of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, from large apartment complexes, to small neighborhood homes, from farmland to seaside residences. Along the way, I was walking along a forest like area, when I noticed some ‘strange’ fences and gates. One of the gates was open a bit, and I could swear I heard it say; “Ellery, בואו פנימה!”, “Ellery, come inside!” So what was I supposed to do? I entered of course…

The image in the ‘header’ above was what greeted me. I had entered a ‘camp’ that was used by the undocumented workers living in Israel. There are about 60,000+ undocumented workers living in Israel. Most, 87%,  come from Eritrea and the Sudan, crossing through the Egyptian border. The Eritrea citizens, who, since 2009, form the majority of the undocumented workers in Israel cannot be deported due to an opinion of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that Eritrea “has a difficult internal situation and a forced recruitment” and therefore the Eritrean immigrants are defined as a “temporary humanitarian protection group”. Despite the fact that a similar opinion does not exist in relation to citizens of Sudan, Israel does not deport them back to Egypt due to a real fear for their fate.

I’m still not sure if this ‘camp’ was currently inhabited, but there appeared to be some order in the kitchen and around the housing. The images below give a small glimpse of life for these workers in Israel.

(Reminder; Click on any image to begin a slideshow)…