Photo Credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90
African infiltrator during a protest outside the Ministry of Interior in Tel Aviv, February 11, 2014.

An amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Act, dubbed the “Infiltrators Law,” was approved on Monday after passing second and third readings. The amendment is a response to the High Court of Justice ruling that government is forbidden to imprison for more than 60 days illegal migrants who refuse to voluntarily evacuate to a third country. The ruling evoked a great deal of rage both within the political system and among the residents of neighborhoods such as south Tel Aviv, where Israeli residents have been living in fear of migrant crime and other unpleasant phenomena.

At the end of a stormy debate, the Knesset plenum passed the amendment by a large margin of 71 to 41 votes (out of 120).

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The amendment extends the life span of the legal means to deal with infiltrators – including the detention of infiltrators who refuse to be evacuated to a third country – by an additional three years.

It means that the efforts to evacuate infiltrators to a third country, which the High Court of Justice approved in principle, will be given another three years to succeed. It is not clear, however, whether the sanctioning of the incarceration for a period of more than 60 days of an infiltrator who refuses to be evacuated to a third country is being regulated under the new amendment to an extent the high court would endorse come the next round of leftwing NGOs’ petitions.

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