A plane carrying 144 residents of South Sudan who infiltrated Israel left the Ben Gurion International Airport at midnight on Monday. It was the second flight carrying illegal entrants back to South Sudan. The first flight left last Sunday night.
The departures are being arranged by the government in an operation dubbed “Going Home.” The operation combines a police crackdown with financial incentives for those who leave by choice. Several hundred more citizens of South Sudan applied last week to leave Israel.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai welcomed on Sunday a court ruling allowing illegal entrants with Ivory Coast citizenship to be deported. The court ruled in the case of 132 illegal entrants who appealed their expulsion from the country.
The roughly 2,000 Ivory Coast citizens in Israel were previous granted protection from deportation because their home country was considered a conflict zone. However, their status changed as the situation calmed. The president of Ivory Coast has agreed to their return.
Speaking last week at the airport several hours before the first plane full of deported illegal aliens left Israel for South Sudan, Yishai said, “This is just the beginning. We are waiting for legal approval regarding Eritreans and North Sudanese, who, in fact, are the real problem.”
There are over 60,000 African infiltrators in Israel, only about 1,500 of whom are South Sudanese.