Rivlin, Horowitz visit facility for illegal immigrants 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy: Knesset)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the cabinet Sunday that in the coming
days the government will begin imposing heavy fines on businesses employing
RELATED:Over 250,000 foreigners live in Israel, report findsPIBA: Record number of 'infiltrators' in December
The fines are the third spike of a three-prong
policy against infiltrators that includes building a 240-km. fence along
the Egyptian border and stiffening the punishments for those illegally entering
Netanyahu, surveying for the cabinet what is being done to
stem illegal infiltrators entering the country from Sinai, said the fence will
be completed in nine or 10 months, and that last week a law was passed allowing
illegal infiltrators to be held for up to three years.
“This is not to
say that they must be held for this entire period,” he said.
changes the existing reality in which an infiltrator is detained and released
after two weeks – and [then] he makes his way to Eilat or Tel Aviv or some place
Netanyahu, who has made stemming the tide of illegal infiltrators
a central priority for his government, said the three-prong policy was necessary
to maintain the Jewish and democratic character of the state.
JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:
minister said the steps were not aimed at political refugees, whose numbers “are
negligible,” but rather at infiltrators coming to Israel in search of better
Also on Sunday, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, along
with Knesset Committee on Foreign Workers chairman Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and
former committee chairman MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union) visited the Saharonim
holding facility for illegal immigrants in the Negev.
According to a
Prisons Service worker who gave Rivlin and Horowitz a tour of the facility,
16,786 infiltrators entered Israel in 2011, an 18.3 percent increase since 2010.
The Prisons Service predicts that Israel will soon face 24,000 illegal
immigrants each year.
Rivlin said that the state must find a way to
prevent infiltration. Once the illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers have entered
Israel, he suggested that they should be accepted as foreign workers, rather
than importing such workers from abroad.
“At the same time,” Rivlin
added, “we must make sure not to relay the message that Israel is a paradise for
those seeking work, and we cannot give positive incentives for the mass flow
According to Horowitz, an injustice has been done with the
illegal immigrants, which he said are kept in difficult conditions.
Meretz MK called on the government to finish the fence along the southern
border, and check each person that enters the country.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>