Israel began warning thousands of illegal African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse.
On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese.
The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion.
Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily.
For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said.