Photo Credit: Nicky Kelvin/Flash90
Sudanese immigrants in Tel Aviv

The day after police arrested four Eritrean and Sudanese men for robbing and raping a 19 year-old woman in south Tel Aviv’s Neve Sha’anan, Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai said most African illegal immigrants should be rounded up and either deported or arrested.

Speaking to Army Radio on Wednesday, Yishai (Shas) distinguished between those seeking asylum and those who came to Israel as opportunists, interested in taking advantage of Israeli  humanitarian benefits or engaging in crime.  All those involved in crime should be jailed, according to Yishai, and the majority of the remainder deported, except for those who are truly threatened in their countries of origin.  “One cannot forsake the security of Israelis,” Yishai said.  Under his plan, the deported would be provided financial assistance by Israel.

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South Tel Aviv has become a center of African illegal immigrants, who primarily enter the country with the aid of Bedouins through Sinai.

MK Danny Danon (Likud) on Wednesday wrote on his Facebook page that he will take steps to remove the illegal immigrants from the country.  “I intend to hold a national emergency hearing on the issue of the illegal infiltrators. The current situation is intolerable! We should expel all the infiltrators before it’s too late,” he wrote.  Danon advocates evicting over 80% of illegal immigrants from Africa and Eastern Europe.

Haaretz published parts of a report on Tuesday in which Israel’s Foreign Ministry recommended investigating the possibility of deporting refugees whose lives would not be threatened by the measure.

MK Dov Hanin (Hadash) called Yishai comments “incitement and populism”.

There are between 700 and 2,000 South Sudanese illegals in Israel, according to estimates.

On June 3, the government will issue a response to the District Court for Administrative Matters in Jerusalem regarding Israel’s ability to withdraw protection from South Sudanese asylum seekers.

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Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

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