Yishai: Most African infiltrators involved in crime

Interior minister says only small number of Africans in Israel are refugees, rest should be detained, repatriated.

May 16, 2012 09:42
1 minute read.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

Eli Yishai 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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 analysis 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


Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Wednesday said that all African migrants and asylum seekers should be jailed, put in detention centers or given repatriation grants, claiming that most of them are engaged in criminal activity.

Speaking a day after four Sudanese and Eritrean nationals were arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in Tel Aviv, the interior minister said, "We cannot forfeit security for Israeli citizens," speaking in an interview with Army Radio.

Those Africans in Israel who are recognized as refugees can stay in Israel, Yishai said, but claimed that there are only a small number who fall under the classification. "Put everyone without exception into prison or detention camps," he stated.

There are over 50,000 African migrants and asylum seekers in Tel Aviv, according to government figures. According to the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority, around 7,000 people have infiltrated Israel’s southern border since the beginning of 2012. Yishai has repeatedly called the infiltrators an existential threat to Zionism.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has echoed Yishai's sentiments that infiltrators from Africa are a "threat" to Israel and has initiated several measures to stem the tide of illegal migrants entering Israel from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Netanyahu ordered the Defense Ministry to speed up work on a 240 km-long fence on the Egypt border, expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The cabinet also approved measures to build a new detention center for housing migrants in the Negev and to steepen fines on businesses employing illegal migrants.

Ben Hartman contributed to this report.

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


Cookie Settings