Israeli immigration police arrest dozens of South Sudanese illegal immigrants in Eilat on Monday morning in a raid intended to curb the influx of unauthorized entrants from Africa.
At approximately 5:00 AM, immigration police raided a neighborhood which has become known as a way station for the hundreds of migrants who breach Israeli borders from the south. Police gave the individuals time to gather and pack their belongings before being deported. Eight South Sudanese migrants were arrest by the Immigration Authority on Sunday.
Last week, a Jerusalem court ruled that Israel could deport South Sudanese citizens back to their country.
The Knesset on Monday will dedicate special sessions to dealing with strong Israeli reactions to violence and theft brought on by the wave of Sudanese and Eritrean illegal immigrants, in particular in South Tel Aviv and the port city of Eilat. Discussions will include ways to deal with the various classifications of immigrants – including opportunists as well as asylum-seekers – as well as Israeli violence against the migrants sparked by public outrage at immigrant conduct.
On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation supported a bill to punish Israelis who employ or migrants and Palestinians who are inside Israeli illegally.
Though it is difficult to estimate how many illegal immigrants from Africa are currently in Israel, Ministry of Interior estimates, as of April 2012, 59,858 Illegal immigrants who were never imprisoned in detention facilities have infiltrated into Israel. A fraction of those are entitled to refugee status, while Eritreans – comprising a whopping 34,000 of those – will not be deported due to the opinion of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that Eritrea has a difficult internal situation and a forced recruitment and that Eritrean immigrants should be defined as a “temporary humanitarian protection group”.Malkah Fleisher