After deporting 2,300 Sub-Saharan nationals by 2012, Israel was still faced with the question of how to treat the 37,000 Eritreans and 14,000 Sudanese still seeking asylum, the report says.

The country’s response has been to coerce them into leaving the country, detaining up to 3,000 at any given time while the remaining tens of thousands live in constant fear of being ordered to report to detention centres.

Earlier this year, African asylum seekers in Israel staged mass protests over their treatment.

Israel’s openly stated policy of doing its utmost to “encourage” Eritreans and Sudanese to leave the country has caused it to breach its own and international laws on arbitrary detention and refoulement.

But Israel insists that its actions are within the boundaries of international law.

It insists that the Africans are not asylum seekers but economic migrants who see Israel as an attractive destination because it is the nearest developed country where they can find jobs, according to the BBC.

States hosting recognized refugees are not obliged to grant them citizenship. However, under the 1951 Refugee Convention, refugees are entitled to receive protection and a range  of rights—including but not limited to the right to work, free movement, access to health care, education and social welfare, and property rights—until it is safe for them to return to  their home country.

Read and/or download the full report by Human Rights Watch.