The mayor of Eilat on Wednesday called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to take
immediate steps to stop the influx of African migrants entering the city, saying
that Israel faces the risk of terrorists dispatched by Islamic extremists
entering through the southern border.
In his letter, Mayor Meir Yitzhak-
Halevy said, “today it was illegal infiltrators, and tomorrow it can be
terrorists sent by Islamic extremists. I am calling on you [Barak] again, do not
abandon the residents of my city.”
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Yitzhak-Halevy’s statement, which was
also sent to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Interior Minister Eli Yishai,
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonivitch, the head of the IDF Southern
Command and the head of the Israel Police Southern District, followed an
incident Wednesday morning where the municipality said a large number of
migrants had streamed into the city – some of them making their way to a
residential neighborhood where they reportedly knocked on the doors of
“In light of this morning’s severe incident, in which dozens of
illegal infiltrators penetrated the city of Eilat, its neighborhoods and houses,
during which residents were exposed to violence, I turn to you [Barak] and
request that you work in every way possible to protect the residents of
A spokesman for the municipality told The Jerusalem Post
residents of a western neighborhood of Eilat called city hall to complain that
migrants had knocked on their doors asking for water. The spokesman added that
police estimate that around 40 or so migrants crossed into Eilat just on
According to the Population, Immigration and Borders
Authority, 2,600 migrants have crossed the southern border since the beginning
of the year, including 350 since the beginning of May alone.
the mayor also contacted Interior Minister Eli Yishai, asking that he hold an
urgent cabinet meeting on the issue.
A city of around 40,000 residents
with more than 5,000 African residents, Eilat has been at the center of the
As the closest major city to the border with
Sinai, it has been inundated with migrants, who have become a common sight
working in the hotels and restaurants of the city built by
Yitzhak-Halevy has waged a campaign against African migrants
over the past year, posting red “warning” flags on light posts throughout
residential neighborhoods to warn of the presence of migrants, and occasionally
threatening to set up checkpoints at the entrances and exits to the city if a
solution to the illegal migration is not found.
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