Between 700 and 1,000 citizens of South Sudan who are illegally staying in Israel have seven days to leave the country of their own free will or face arrest, the Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) announced Thursday.
The announcement follows a court decision Thursday morning to remove the collective protection that had been given to the South Sudanese in Israel. PIBA said that those who wish to be accompanied and assisted by its Unit for Voluntary Departure, will receive assistance.
The decision by the Jerusalem District Court makes it possible for PIBA to take steps to expel the illegal immigrants and punish their employers.
The decision only applies to citizens of South Sudan, who are a relatively small group among the illegal aliens from Africa currently in Israel. The illegal aliens from Sudan number about 10,000, and those from Eritrea number over 35,000.
Ultra-leftist activists with close connections to the New Israel Fund have played an important role in preventing effective steps from being taken against the illegal aliens until now. Previous attempts by Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) to deport illegal aliens resulted in his demonization by the press. Two years ago, the head of the Oz Unit, which was in charge of enforcing the law vis-à-vis the aliens, had to resign after a media blitz against him and Yishai.
The public outcry and violence after several high-profile cases of rape perpetrated by illegal aliens forced the government to take action against them. Interestingly, Israel's militant feminists have been completely silent regarding the rapes, with some expressing anger that religious men like Eli Yishai and MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), and nationalist women like MK Miri Regev (Likud), have donned the mantle of protectors of Israel's women. A leading militant feminist writer, Bili Moskuna-Lerman, even penned an article addressed to Yishai in which she claimed that it is the rabbinical courts and not the African aliens who are "raping" Israel's women.