Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Thursday that while the growing number of African migrants in south Tel Aviv is a "terrible social threat," public figures and politicians must be responsible and refrain from words which might incite violence.
Aharonovitch's comments came after a protest against African migrants in south Tel Aviv Wednesday night became violent, with 17 people being arrested and two Sudanese nationals lodging complaints with police that they had been assaulted by the mob. The demonstration was attended by Likud MK Danny Danon, who heads a Knesset caucus supporting the immediate deportation of African migrants.
"What we saw yesterday can get worse tomorrow, we all must take responsibility, there is a problem and we must deal with it," Aharonovitch said at a conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
The public security minister said that some 700 migrants were infiltrating Israel from Sinai each week. He said that a smuggling network, earning its handlers thousands of dollars was responsible for bringing the migrants from Sudan and Eritrea to Israel.
Aharonovitch partially blamed the large numbers of infiltrators on the fact that a Border Patrol unit on the border had been removed. He also lamented the police's OZ Unit, responsible for handling the migrants, with not doing their job effectively.
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