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Asylum-seekers in Israel face additional hardships over coronavirus

Asylum-seekers in Israel are now losing their jobs and social security over the coronavirus outbreak.

Merhawit, a 34-year-old single mother of two school-aged children is an asylum-seeker from Eritrea. Fleeing war and her violent husband and his abusive family, she came to Israel some 10 years ago, brought by smugglers through Egypt and the Sinai desert, where she was repeatedly raped. 

Today, she lives in downscale south Tel Aviv in a crowded apartment with two other families. Until the coronavirus lockdown, she worked as a cleaner in an office building. She was fired in mid-March and has not been called back.

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