Interior Minister Eli Yishai warned Wednesday that African infiltrators are overtaking Israeli cities and pose a threat to national security.
Yishai, chairman of the Shas Sephardi religious party, urged the government to move the illegal immigrants to jail cells or holding centers and then give them a financial grant prior to sending them back to their homes.
He said exceptions can be made for refugees, but pointed out that there are only a few infiltrators who came to Israel to escape death.
Tens of thousands of Africans have illegally entered the country the past several years, yet the government largely ignored the problem until the recent movement of the Africans from southern cities to metropolitan Tel Aviv. Yiahi noted that Sudnaese and other Africans have flooded Eilat, Arad and most recently the southern area of Tel Aviv.
A large number of the infiltrators are involved in crime and have threatened people on the beaches.
Left-wing groups have campaigned to keep them in the country, a move that would strengthen the demographic threat of a non-Jewish majority posed by Bedouin and Arabs who live throughout Israel.
“We cannot abandon the security of the country,” Minister Yishai told Israeli radio.
Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon, chairman of the Knesset lobby dealing with the problem of infiltrators, recently stated, “They are a blow to the country, and we need to deport them before it is too late.
“Send the Sudanese back to Sudan and the rest to African and eastern European countries.
The Minister of Agriculture of South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan last year, said during a current visit to Israel that Israel should keep the Sudanese in the country because they came to Israel “for a better life.”