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Defense Ministry to Build Facilities for Infiltrators

Defense Ministry announces it will construct facilities in southern Israel that will be able to hold 20,000 to 25,000 infiltrators.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/8/2012, 3:42 AM

Infiltrators
Infiltrators
Flash 90

The Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that it will begin construction of facilities that will be able to hold 20,000 to 25,000 infiltrators.

The facilities will be built in southern Israel and will be managed by the Israel Prisons Service (IPS) and the Interior Ministry.

The Defense Ministry undertook the construction project upon itself following a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday afternoon.

The project aims to bring, starting next week, all the infiltrators who enter Israel directly to the facilities. The infiltrators will remain in the facilities for long periods of time without being able to reach cities across the country.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry with the assistance of the IDF is advancing with the construction of the fence along the Egyptian border at an accelerated rate. Army Radio reported that 95 percent of the fence is expected to be completed by October.

Netanyahu spoke about the problem of the infiltrators on Thursday, saying, “This is a difficult problem, but we're working on it. The fence should be completed as quickly as possible and the security holes in it be taken care of. Facilities for the Africans must be established and expanded, and employers of infiltrators must be punished.”

Earlier on Thursday, the Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) announced that 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 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. 

Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) ordered this week the creation of a special task force to solve Israel's illegal immigration problem.

"I set my agenda, my top priorities, for the coming year and I intend to do everything possible to solve the problem of illegal immigration to the State of Israel," Yishai said when he announced the task force's creation.

“Our goal,” he stressed, “is a state without illegal aliens.”