Netanyahu warns of infiltrators 'flooding' Israel

Interior minister Yishai says African migrants should be jailed or expelled; Aharonovich to request emergency meeting.

May 21, 2012 02:55
2 minute read.
Netanyahu chairs meeting on Ammunition Hill

Netanyahu chairs meeting on Ammunition Hill 370. (photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)


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


Illegal infiltrators threaten Israel’s character as a Jewish and democratic country, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

Calling the issue “very grave” and a threat to the “social fabric,” Netanyahu said, “If we do not stop the entry, the problem, there are now 60,000 illegal infiltrators; could easily grow to 600,000 illegal infiltrators. This would inundate the state and, to a considerable degree, cancel out its image as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The prime minister spoke of the importance of finishing construction of the Egyptian border fence and working to send away “those [illegal migrants] who are already inside.”

Netanyahu said the latter will be done in part by punishing employers who hire illegal migrants.

The growing population of more than 50,000 illegal African migrants has become a hot-button issue, with the weekend editions of all three major Hebrew dailies featuring lead stories relating to the issue.

A little over three weeks ago, African migrants were targeted in a series of Molotov cocktail attacks in south Tel Aviv’s Shapira neighborhood. In addition, there have been a series of sexual assaults in Tel Aviv over recent weeks that police say were carried out by African migrants.

Also on Sunday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) repeated his call to jail illegal African migrants, most of whom he said were involved in crime.


“I repeat what I said – we must jail all of them or deport them with a stipend. The moment they are put in jail – others won’t want to come here anymore,” Yishai said, in an interview with Army Radio.

He also took issue with a statement made by Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino, who during a tour of south Tel Aviv last week said, “There are tens of thousands of people here who if we don’t create places of work for them, it will make them to turn to crime, and as long as they’re here we need to ensure that they are able to work.”

“Why should we be finding them places of work?” Yishai asked. “The jobs will keep them here; they will have children here as well. This idea will only make more and more hundreds of thousands come.”

On Monday, the Knesset Committee on Foreign Workers will hold an emergency meeting on the situation in south Tel Aviv.

On Tuesday, anti-migrant protesters plan to march from the Hatikva neighborhood shuk to the headquarters of Mesila, a municipality-run organization that helps foreigners.

Committee head Nitzan Horovitz (Meretz) called on Sunday for the government to check the refugee status of all asylum-seekers and to return those determined to be migrant workers and to allow those found to be refugees to stay and work in Israel legally.

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

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night