Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Wednesday said that Sudanese nationals have until October 15 to leave the country before being imprisoned.
"We will make the lives of infiltrators bitter until they leave," Yishai told Channel 2.
Yishai said that those who leave voluntarily prior to October 15 will receive financial assistance from his ministry. He added that after expelling all the Sudanese, the Interior Ministry will begin deporting Eritrean migrants.
"This is another step moving from words to actions with regards to the infiltrators," Yishai said. "Whoever wants to continue talking can do so. Whoever wants to act, in order to ensure a Jewish and Zionist state for our children, should act. I choose action."
Yishai has made inflammatory statements about migrants several times in the past. Earlier this month, he said that illegal African migrants pose no less a threat to Israel than Iran's nuclear weapons. In May he told Ma’ariv that in recent months dozens of women had been raped by “infiltrators” in south Tel Aviv but decided not to report the attacks so that people wouldn’t think they contracted AIDS.
The interior minister is pushing for the government to expand the detention centers in Israel’s south in order to eventually jail all of the estimated more than 60,000 African migrants currently in Israel.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report