Netanyahu postpones expulsion of children of foreign workers

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to push forward with the government's decision to expel the children of refugees and foreign workers; however, the actual expulsion, which had been scheduled to take place in the coming days, will be delayed for a period of three months. According to the Prime Minister's Office, Netanyahu met with Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Thursday, and decided that Israel would continue to encourage illegal workers and their children to leave on their own. The prime minister adopted Yishai's proposal to grant a three-month stay in order to allow time to "formulate a policy for dealing with the children of illegal aliens and their parents. The prime minister and the interior minister together decided that the interior minister will convene meetings on this matter in the Ministerial Committee on the Employment of Foreign Workers," Netanyahu's office said. The statement said that "the incessant stream of illegal aliens into Israel in recent years has brought us to a point where the ratio of foreign workers in Israel is one of the highest in the world… This fact raises unemployment among Israelis and significantly alters the internal demographic balance in Israel." The prime minister also instructed Yishai and Steinitz to prepare legislative moves that would allow for heavier punishments to Israelis who illegally employ foreigners. At the same time, the cabinet will discuss the situation on Israel's porous southern border and try to formulate a plan to reduce the number of African migrants who make it into the country through Egypt.