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Hundreds of African migrants are freed from Israeli detention center after high court ruling

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HOLOT DETENTION FACILITY, Israel — Hundreds of African migrants have begun leaving a detention facility in southern Israel after the country's high court ordered their release.

An Israeli law permits the migrants' detention at the Holot facility without charge. The high court this month upheld the controversial law, but limited detention time to 12 months, effective Wednesday.

Some 1,200 people are set to be released from the remote desert holding facility. Migrants are allowed to leave Holot but must sign in several times a day and sleep there, making it impossible to stray far or hold jobs. Another 500 remain at Holot.

Israel's 50,000 African migrants, most from strife-ridden Eritrea and Sudan, say they are fleeing conflict and persecution and are seeking refugee status. Israel says they are economic migrants in search of work.

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