"I am determined to continue to lead the government operations in dealing with infiltrators," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared on Monday evening regarding the Supreme Court's decision that jailing illegal infiltrators is "unconstitutional".
The Prime Minister added that, “While many countries in the world are dealing with an infiltrator problem, we have been able to curb ours, and in the past month not even one infiltrator has crossed our southern borders. These results are thanks to the steps we have taken, including the construction of a fence along the southern border.”
The court gave the state 90 days to review the cases of 1,750 illegal infiltrators currently being held in detention centers, and to set most of them free. Another estimated 55,000 illegal infiltrators currently live freely in Israel.
Netanyahu stressed that while respecting the decision of the Supreme Court, he intends on finding a solution along with the Minister of the Interior and the Attorney General to "allow the implementation of policies determined by us and return the thousands of infiltrators."
The panel of nine justices ruled Monday that Israel’s 2012 law in which courts are allowed to jail illegal infiltrators for up to three years without trial violates Israel's Basic Law concerning Human Dignity and Liberty. In its decision, the court argued that the 2012 law does not make it easier to deal with illegal immigration.
The issue of illegal immigration is a controversial issue in Israel. Whilst there are calls for authorities to take a more compassionate line, others point out that the massive influx of immigrants - most of whom are economic migrants, as opposed to refugees fleeing war or persecution - is unsustainable and potentially destabilizing for as small a country as Israel.