Attorneys for the state told the High Court Thursday that they would respond to the High Court on a petition demanding that the state supply illegals stuck at the border fence with humanitarian aid, but said that they could not promise that the state would admit the refugees into Israel. The attorneys were responding to a petition by groups that provide aid for illegal African refugees who try to infiltrate Israel, who filed the petition on behalf of a group of about a dozen illegal Eritrean refugees, who have sidled up to the Sinai border fence, but are unable to cross into Israeli territory because of the fence.
The IDF has been supplying the group with food and water, but Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that the fence was doing what it was supposed to. "If there were no fence there, and we were not determined to stop these illegal immigrants, we would have a million people there,” Yishai said earlier this week
The attorneys told the court that Israel was acting reasonably and responsibly in the matter. “On the humanitarian level, and without subtracting from the government's position that there is no evidence that this is a group of political refugees, IDF soldiers are supplying the group with their basic food and drink needs. As the Attorney General has ordered, the state is prepared to provide emergency medical or humanitarian assistance as needed,” the attorneys said.
With that, they said, the state did not have an obligation to admit the group. “As an independent state, Israel has the right to decide who will enter the country.” It would be contradictory, to say the least, for the court to hold the position that Israel has a right to construct a border fence to keep refugees out, but to forbid use of the fence for the purpose it was designed for, the attorneys added.