The growing anger at the massive illegal infiltration of Africans into Israel has spilled over to Jerusalem in an apparent arson attack.
Investigators found one door in the burned downtown apartment with “out of the neighborhood” scrawled on it. Ten Africans fled the apartment, located on the capital’s main Jaffa Road artery, around 3 a.m. Monday, and at least two people were treated at a Jerusalem hospital for smoke inhalation and were released.
With tensions growing in Eilat, Arad and southern Tel Aviv over the dominant presence of the illegal Africans, most of them Muslims, their numbers have been increasing in the capital. Although the illegal immigrants are a tiny minority, residents apparently are not waiting until the situation gets out of hand and results in the repeated phenomena of illegal employment, a rise in crime and sexual harassment.
Most of the Africans, who infiltrate from Egypt into Israel through a porous border and with the aid of Bedouin smugglers, have camped out in areas near the popular Mahane Yehudah market near the center of the city.
In Tel Aviv, the anti-infiltration backlash has ignited protests and violence, with growing pressure on the government to put an end to the continuing flood of illegal immigrants. National Union chairman and Knesset Member Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz warned two years ago that the flow would grow into a cascade and become a demographic and social threat to the country.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently has ordered the deportation of 25,000 of the Africans, but that does not solve the problem of an equal number, if not more, who he said would be at risk if sent back to their home countries of Sudan and Eritrea,
His plan to house them in detention centers in the Negev for up to three years already has been met by opposition from prison officials and human rights activists.