The Jerusalem District Court issued on Thursday evening a temporary injunction prohibiting the arrest of infiltrators from North Sudan, at least until the next hearing on the matter to be held later this month.
The injunction came after Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced plans to launch an operation to arrest illegal infiltrators from North Sudan ahead of their deportation from Israel. The operation was to begin on Monday.
The petition to the court was filed by several human rights groups, which often place the rights of illegal aliens before the rights of Israelis. The petition claimed that "jailing the Sudanese is an arbitrary and cruel move, since there is no opportunity today to repatriate them to their country.”
Attached to the petition was a recent review by the UN Human Rights Council which states that “there is no factual or legal basis for the claim that the Sudanese are not refugees, as Israel refrained from examining their requests for asylum.”
Yishai said in response to the injunction, "I regret the decision. The decision delays the solution to the problem of infiltration into Israel once and for all."
Yishai expressed his hope that the court will ultimately permit the State to arrest all illegal infiltrators and place them in holding facilities before they are returned to their countries of origin. He also called on the "human rights organizations" to act first for the benefit of Israeli citizens under the principle of "charity begins at home."
In recent years the State of Israel has been dealing with a wave of infiltrators from Africa. The infiltrators come in through the non-hermetically sealed border with Egypt.
An operation dubbed “Going Home”, which was launched a few months ago, combines a police crackdown with financial incentives for illegal infiltrators from South Sudan who leave by choice. Yishai has also instructed the Department of Immigration and Population to begin repatriating illegal alien infiltrators from the Ivory Coast.
Official statistics released on July 28 showed that illegal infiltration into Israel through Sinai had plummeted sharply over a period of two months.
Israel’s main problem remains the infiltrators from Eritrea and North Sudan, which make up the bulk of the infiltrators.