Sudan Christians “Fleeing Genocide” Reach Israel
ICC Note: Christian Sudanese are being forced to flee from Sudan with some of them arriving in Israel .
Friday, 15 June 2007 Sudan (BosNewsLife)-Dozens of Sudanese Christian refugees, most of them children, have entered Israel after fleeing “a genocide campaign” carried out by forces linked to Sudan’s “Islamist regime,” the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) said Friday, June 15.
The ICEJ, an evangelical organization supporting the Jewish state with aid and advocacy, said authorities are struggling to accommodate 31 Sudanese Christians, including 17 children and 14 adults, who entered the country late Thursday, June 14, via the Israeli resort town of Eilat with assistance from local Bedouins.
They were expected to staying in Bedoiun tents for the weekend.
ICEJ Executive Director Malcolm Hedding told BosNewsLife that authorities asked his group “to assume responsibility over their housing and care for two weeks until they can be accommodated” among several Israeli collective communities known as ‘kibbutzim’.
“An increasing number of Sudanese refugees fleeing Darfur and other conflict zones have been entering Israel through Egypt in recent weeks. Due to their United Nations refugee status, Israel is obligated to care for them,” he explained.
Hedding said the ICEJ agreed to accommodate the Sudanese Christians even “without the funds in hand” out “of a sense of compassion for fellow Christians” and “because the radical Islamic Movement in Israel was also offering to take custody” of the refugees.
Relief efforts were estimated at $20,000, including “desperately needed medical care,” but Hedding seemed confident that ICEJ supporters would give financial assistance.
He added his organization would soon launch a new aid project to help Israel handle with an “influx of Sudanese refugees fleeing the genocide campaign of the Islamist regime in Khartoum .”
Hedding said the ICEJ had “little choice now but to turn to our worldwide family of supporters and friends and rely on the generous hearts of God’s people.”
Israel is the latest destination for refugees from Sudan where at least an estimated 200,000 people have died in the four-year conflict between rebel groups in the Western region of Darfur and two million people have been displaced.
Human rights groups say a policy of forced Islamization launched by the government based in northern Sudan has added to tensions.
Church groups say the policy resulted in “virtual genocide” of non-Muslim Sudanese peoples including many Christians, in especially the southern part of the troubled nation. In at least one recent incident related to Islamic extremism, an Egyptian and three Sudanese Christians were reportedly killed when their truck came under gunfire after holding an evangelistic meeting in Sudan ‘s Nuba Mountains region.