Israel will not be signing an international convention on immigration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday.
“I instructed the Foreign Ministry to announce that Israel will not accede to, and will not sign, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“We are committed to guarding our borders against illegal migrants. This is what we have done and this is what we will continue to do,” he added.
Formulated under UN auspices, the global compact is set to be officially ratified at an international conference to be held in Morocco in mid-December.
All UN member states, except for the U.S., have declared their support for the immigration pact.
Israel is currently home to some 35,000 asylum seekers, including 27,500 from Eritrea and 7,800 from Sudan, according to UN figures.
Most of them arrived in Israel -- via Egypt -- during the period between 2006 and 2013 before a security fence was erected along the Egypt-Israel border.
According to the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, an Israeli NGO based in Tel Aviv, most of them are concentrated in Tel Aviv’s southern outskirts and in a handful of other urban centers.