Israel has long had problems with infiltrators from Africa who enter through the border with Egypt, some falsely claiming refugee status. Many of them end up residing in the central bus station in Tel Aviv. MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, who described the hall as “one of the expressions of the takeover by the infiltrators of southern Tel Aviv,” said that despite the loud noise and the alcohol which disturb the neighbors the city of Tel Aviv does nothing to shut the place down.
INN (H/T Elizabeth A) A parlor meeting entitled ‘Welcome the Sudanese’ will take place in the posh North Tel Aviv neighborhood of Neveh Avivim in the first week of August. This is a continuation of the ‘Ramat Aviv First’ initiative by MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), which seeks to make liberal Israelis in upper class neighborhoods aware of what it is like to have African infiltrators living near their home.
The MK claims that liberal “do-gooders” protesting deportation of foreign workers or infiltrators do not have to deal with them in daily life, as do people in poorer areas where schools are overrun by non-Jews without a clue about Judaism and crime rates have jumped. At the parlor meeting, local residents will be invited and requested to share in the burden of Sudanese absorption and ‘adopt’ Sudani refugees.
HAARETZ Work has begun in the past year on construction of a fence along the Israel-Egypt border. The fence, which will stretch over 150 km, will be fitted with cameras and other technological devices that will make it possible to locate infiltrators. the prime minister declared proudly that the fence “would ensure the state’s Jewish and democratic character.” Israel, he promised, “will remain open to war refugees, but will not allow its borders to serve [as an entry point] for floods of illegal immigrants.” During his visit to the south, he added: “The infiltrators cause cultural, social and economic damage and drag us into the Third World.”
MK Ben-Ari, who described the hall as “one of the expressions of the takeover by the infiltrators of southern Tel Aviv,” said that despite the loud noise and the alcohol which disturb the neighbors the city of Tel Aviv does nothing to shut the place down. A recent report found that an estimated 2,000 people managed to sneak through into Israel during August alone.
Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) brought dozens of Sudanese refugees to the pool at Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach on Sunday. They intended to make a statement about the refugee situation in south Tel Aviv. “]Netanyahu’s decision parallelled a passage from the first reading of a government-sponsored bill to block infiltration – which calls for serious imprisonment of infiltrators, makes it possible to hold them in administrative detention, and leaves open the possibility of swift expulsion for asylum seekers.
At present, some 20,000 African refugees are in Israel with temporary status. An unknown number of refugees have been expelled. Israel does not expel refugees from Sudan and Eritrea (where they would face clear danger to their lives), but it does not grant them permanent residency either.
Israel – when compared to conditions in Egypt and those in their home countries – still appears to be the Promised Land. Or as one refugee described it: “the only Christian country in the region.” This is what he told the soldiers who nabbed him near the border. Officials in the defense and interior ministries have warned Knesset members that “two to three million refugees” are waiting in Egypt, intent on coming here.”
Interior Minister Eli Yishai accused foreign workers of spreading disease after a TV report on a defense establishment study claimed one out of every three infiltrators is HIV positive.
The area around the fence is now like the Wild West, with decisions left in the hands of the duty sergeant commanding the patrol that captures the infiltrators. In the dark, and often under Egyptian fire aimed at the infiltrators, it is difficult to determine who is a genuine refugee. Meanwhile, the “hot return” policy is simply on paper.
A senior security officer involved with this issue does not believe an immediate security risk exists, but says there is potential for risk. “This is a national issue, not a security issue,” he says. “This has not happened so far, but in the future, a terrorist organization can use an African infiltrator to carry out terrorist attacks.”