Around 50 members of the Hebrew Israelites community, also known as the Black Hebrews, some 3,000 strong, in southern Israel have been told that they must leave the country by September 23, for lack of legal status in Israel, or risk forcible deportation by the immigration police.

In response to appeals asking to be allowed to stay, the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority wrote to each family that neither residency in Israel for a long period nor work in the country were sufficient grounds for a change of status.