Migrants hope PM will turn over new leaf as Tel Aviv residents file police complaint against them

South Tel Aviv residents say illegal infiltrators can be sent to prison for extended sentences, even after the High Court's decision.

October 1, 2014 18:31
2 minute read.
detention center

African migrants walk in front of the entrance to Holot open detention center in the Negev . (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Responding to comments Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made from the US, a pro-migrant group said on Wednesday it hoped the state would view the recent High Court of Justice decision striking down its policy on illegal immigrants as a chance to construct a better policy.

Pushing on the other end of the spectrum, south Tel Aviv residents on Monday night filed police complaints against migrants, saying that even after the court’s decision, infiltrators could be sent to prison for extended sentences.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The High Court last week struck down the state and Netanyahu’s policy of holding some illegal migrants in closed detention for one year and others in indefinite open detention.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu had said that most migrants came to Israel not out of persecution, but for economic reasons and were looking for work.

He said Israel could not be a landing pad for all migrant workers from other countries, but also that he would respect the High Court’s decision.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said, however, that the Knesset should pass legislation to circumvent the court and limit its authority over migrant policy.

A spokeswoman for the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants said on Wednesday that she expected the prime minister to respect the court as well as “the spirit of the decision,” which she said dictated giving a much more integrationist policy “a real chance” to “help all of the communities in Tel Aviv, both migrants and residents of the [city’s] south.”


She did not wish to speculate on whether Netanyahu’s and Sa’ar’s differing public statements would reflect different perspectives going forward.

The spokeswoman noted that there is ongoing confusion about whether the Interior Ministry’s Population and Borders Immigration Authority will respect the court’s decision, with reports that the higher levels of PIBA have ordered a freeze in new summons to migrants to the detention centers, and lower level PIBA officials proceeding with some summons.

She did add that it appeared that there would likely not be new summons issued since the court’s ruling, but that summons issued before the ruling were still in question – despite the court having invalidated the use of the detention centers.

On the other end, south Tel Aviv residents said that even after the court’s ruling, illegal migrants could be arrested by police and courts could imprison them for up to five years under other still valid laws.

A group of residents gathered dozens of migrants’ names and provided them to police.

Explaining the tactic of turning to the police, local Shefi Paz said, “The High Court caused south Tel Aviv residents and the State of Israel to lose faith.”

Repeated discussions with police spokespeople had not yielded any updates on the complaints by press time.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A war jet flies above Syria near the Israeli Syrian border as it is seen from the Golan Heights
September 23, 2018
Russia: Israel provided false information regarding downing of Il-20