The Ministry of Justice published on Sunday a memorandum of a bill aimed at preventing infiltration into Israel.
The proposed bill is designed to deal with the economic incentive related to the phenomenon of infiltration into Israel, by making it a criminal prohibition for infiltrators to transfer funds abroad, either themselves or through others.
The bill proposes that the penalty for transferring money abroad by infiltrators will be six months imprisonment or a fine of 29,200 shekels. The penalty for a person who will assist an infiltrator in transferring money aboard will be one year's imprisonment or a fine of 29,200 shekels, or twice the amount he intended to help the infiltrator take out of Israel.
The prohibition would not apply to people who have been recognized as refugees, or to approved special humanitarian cases.
The Ministry of Justice noted that in recent years the State of Israel has been dealing with a wave of infiltrators from Africa, and that currently an estimated 60,000 infiltrators are in Israel. It is believed, based in part on the findings of interviews conducted by the National Immigration Authority with infiltrators upon entering Israel, that a large number of infiltrators are people who look for work in Israel and plan to subsequently transfer money to their relatives who they left behindin their countries of origin.
Israel recently launched an operation dubbed “Going Home”, which combines a police crackdown with financial incentives for illegal infiltrators who leave by choice. Two flights carrying 144 illegal entrants back to South Sudan have already left Israel.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened an additional discussion on the issue of the handling of illegal work infiltrators.
Participants in the discussion were presented with updated infiltration data according to which, 11 infiltrators were detained last weekend and 129 since the beginning of the month. All of the infiltrators were put in detention at the Saharonim facility in accordance with the new infiltrators law which allows detention up to three years.
928 infiltrators were detained in June and 2031 in May. In June of last year, 1,213 infiltrators crossed the border.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai has instructed the Department of Immigration and Population to begin repatriating illegal alien infiltrators from the Ivory Coast.
A court ruling has allowed illegal entrants with Ivory Coast citizenship to be deported from Israel. 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.
Israel’s main problem remains illegal infiltrators from Eritrea and North Sudan, who make up the bulk of the number of illegal infiltrators.
The UN Human Rights Council recently said that Eritrea was among the worst human rights offenders in Africa, with as many as 10,000 political prisoners held in prisons.
In the wake of the comments, officials in Israel said that the country would have a much harder time repatriating Eritreans.