Police in January 2012 began building a database of the DNA of immigrants from Africa who entered Israel illegally, a report in Ha'aretz said Thursday. The DNA was taken from immigrants who were caught and detained at a southern facility where illegals were held before deportation.
According to the report, police were using the database to solve property and other crimes. Police said that the DNA collection was necessary, in order to keep track of immigrants before they disappeared into the large immigrant communities in Tel Aviv and other cities. So far, police have solved a number of crimes using the information, they said. A large number of the samples were taken after immigrants were arrested on suspicion of various crimes.
The permit to take the samples came as the result of a new law that took effect in January 2012 that toughened the standards for deportation of illegals. The illegals are classified as security risks, which makes them eligible for DNA tracking. The database currently includes more than 600 illegals, the report said.