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MK Yaakov Katz: Foreign Laborers 'Conquered' Parts of Tel Aviv

Head of Knesset Committee on Foreign Laborers tours Tel Aviv, warns Israel will soon have 100,000 illegal foreign laborers.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/6/2010, 9:19 PM / Last Update: 6/6/2010, 9:57 PM

Flash 90

MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), Head of the Knesset Committee on the Foreign Laborers Problem, toured the streets of southern Tel Aviv Sunday, where thousands of illegal immigrant laborers reside. The laborers “stole across the border,” he said, and “effectively conquered entire neighborhoods in the city's south that have been irreparably damaged.”

Ketzaleh visited HaYarden School in HaTikva Neighborhood where many of the laborers' children study, as well as a refuge for female refuge seekers and a day care center for the babies of African laborers.

Ketzaleh, who heads the National Union, praised Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Chuldai for his hospitality and for allowing a free and frank discussion. He said that the municipality was treating the foreigners with great care and devotion.

He was worried by what he saw. In several schools, he said, 50% to 70% of the students were non-Jews. “There are prostitution and crime centers in the city streets and the municipality is doing the best it can in the best possible way,” he noted. The problem, he said, should be laid at the doorstep of the Prime Minister, “because there were 12,000 labor infiltrators at the start of his term and there are 30,000 now, and in the years remaining in the Prime Minister's term I estimate that there will be 100,000 African labor immigrants.”
 
Ketzaleh said there is no plan for dealing with this national problem and no target date for beginning the construction of a barrier on the southern border. “The government needs to wake up and give one person responsibility for this matter,” he determined. “He will have the relevant authority and will coordinate all of the activities carried out on the matter, and he will be charged with solving the problem.”