Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that it his opinion that Israel can legally begin to detain and deport infiltrators from Sudan.
Protesters gathered Wednesday across the country to protest the growing influx of African infiltrators in Israel. Over a thousand people attended the demonstration at Tel Aviv's Hatikva neighborhood, holding signs calling for the deportation of the migrants, one of which read "(Prime Minister) Bibi (Netanyahu) decide - Sudan or Israel." Similar demonstrations were held in Eilat, Bnei Brak, Sderot, Ashdod and Ashkelon.
Nonprofit organizations working with the African migrant community had contended that Israel could not legally deport thousands of African refugees, asylum seekers and infiltrators as long as it is still party to an international convention on refugee rights.
The Justice Ministry released a statement saying that it had consulted with the Foreign Ministry and come to the conclusion that the Sudanese infiltrators were not eligible for asylum and they could be returned to South Sudan.
The ministry added that it would soon request from the Jerusalem District Court that it drop a temporary injunction against taking South Sudanese citizens into custody.
Speaking at a rally in south Tel Aviv late Wednesday MK Danny Danon (Likud), chairman of the "Deportation Now" movement, called for the immediate expulsion of African migrants from Israel.
Danon said: "The infiltrators are a national plague, and we must deport them immediately before it's too late - the Sudanese can go back to Sudan and the rest should be deported to other countries in Africa and eastern Europe."
Danon added that "the state of Israel is engaged in a war against an enemy state composed of infiltrators and located within Israel. Its capital is south Tel Aviv. 'Deportation Now' is the only solution."
A car containing three African migrants was set upon by a group of demonstrators, who smashed its windows and headlights. Police arrived and pushed back the rioters, and the vehicle left the area. The car's occupants were unharmed.
Police arrested twelve for violent disorderly conduct.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police forces were on standby in Tel Aviv and other cities to ensure that no escalation of incidents would occur in during demonstrations.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.