SARA NETANYAHU meets with four-year-old Ofek Castillo311.
(photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)
The Central District Court ruled in a closed-door hearing on Thursday to deport an Israeli-born
four-year-old daughter of a Filipino foreign worker. The child’s father, also
Filipino, is residing legally in Israel.
The mother, who had been living
illegally in Israel for four years with her Israeli-born daughter, had petitioned
against the deportation.
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The petition asked that the mother and daughter
be allowed to remain in Israel another month, and then leave voluntarily rather
than being forcibly deported.
Sara Netanyahu also got involved in the
case, and sent a letter to Interior Minister Eli Yishai asking that he stop the
Last week, the District Court issued a temporary
stay of the deportation orders against them, pending the
Attorney Oded Feller, representing the child and her mother,
told the court that while in general illegal residents should be deported, in
the case of children the state should put the child’s best interests
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The child and her father are very close, Feller noted, and should
have been given time to prepare for their separation.
“Israel is the only
country where the process of removing a child and her mother from the country
happens within 24 hours without parental involvement,” Feller
However, Judge Avraham Ya’acov said that there were no special
circumstances that would have merited delaying the deportation of Nancy and her
Following the judgment, the legal adviser to the Population
Authority, Daniel Solomon, said that the petition had just been a “nuisance
suit” whose only outcome was that the mother had to spend over a week in custody
apart from her daughter.
However, Noa Galili, spokeswoman of the
Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), who filed the petition along with
NGO Israeli Children, slammed the ruling, dubbing the child’s deportation as a
“badge of shame for Israel.”
“It’s a disgrace that the Interior Ministry
held the hearing behind closed doors contrary to the judge’s instructions,”
Galili said. “It’s crazy that at the same time Yishai is bringing thousands of
new workers, he is deporting 400 children as a solution to the migration
problem.”Ben Hartman contributed to this report.
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