Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel and the United Nations refugee agency have come to an accord that would see some of the African migrants resettled in Western countries.

The rest of the migrants, about 18,000, would be granted permanent residency status in Israel, according to Israeli media.

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Israel had planned to deport the migrants en masse to Africa before this agreement was reached.

The deal with the UN agency would be implemented over a five-year period.

“These understandings will allow the removal of more migrants from Israel than in the previous plan, and under UN and the international community’s auspices,” a statement said.

Most of the Africans are fleeing persecution and war-torn countries.