Israel's immigration police have been granted the power to remove foreigners without permits from Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron), the Haaretz newspaper reported on Friday.
According to the report, the head of the IDF’s Central Command has granted the interior ministry's enforcement arm the power to arrest foreigners who have outstayed their visa. The order was signed on July 6, the paper said.
“Many illegal residents within Israel choose to come to the Judea and Samaria area to work,” said an army statement quoted by AFP.
“In the past, the (interior ministry's Population and Migration Authority) had no enforcement power over these workers.
“According to the new order, inspectors will be authorized to transfer the illegal residents into the boundaries of the State of Israel, where the regular enforcement procedures will proceed, as per Israeli law,” said the statement. “The status of these illegal residents will be identical to the status of illegal residents found during routine enforcement in Israel.”
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.
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.
Israel’s main problem, however, is the 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 have admitted that the country would have a much harder time repatriating Eritreans.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)