'Prisons service can't cope with African migrant center'

Public Security Ministry warns IPS not equipped to handle facility for infiltrators planned by government.

November 27, 2010 18:32
1 minute read.
A Sudanese refugee at the border fence between Isr

sudanese at fence 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

Government plans to construct a large facility in the South to house African migrants who illegally cross into Israel from Egypt cannot be implemented by the Israel  Prisons Service (IPS), sources in the Public Security Ministry warned over the weekend.

The government has named the IPS as the agency to manage the center, but sources in the Public Security Ministry raised a series of problems they said would prevent the IPS from carrying out the task effectively.

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The Public Security Ministry, which is responsible for the IPS, said illegal migrants who would house the facility in the future would not necessarily be considered prisoners, thereby escaping the IPS's legal jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the IPS has no experience in caring for a civilian population and is ill equipped for such a task, the Ministry has argued.

The Interior Ministry's Population, Immigration and Border Crossings Authority, which already spends much of its time dealing with African migrants, was far better suited for the job, sources in the Ministry

Sources in the ministry are upset that a representative on their behalf was absent from the inter-ministerial steering committee set up to propose policy for dealing with the influx of Africans through the southern border.

An estimated 1,200 people from Eritrea, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, and several other African states cross into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula every month, according to the Public Security Ministry.

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