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Cabinet Approves Plan to Deal with Illegal Immigrants

New plan gives infiltrators incentives to go home and boosts police numbers to increase law enforcement, especially in south Tel Aviv.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 11/25/2013, 11:31 AM

Infiltrators (file)
Infiltrators (file)
Flash 90

On Sunday the Cabinet unanimously approved the multi-layered plan to deal with illegal immigrants from Africa, a plan which includes monetary incentives for infiltrators to return to their countries as well as increased police enforcement, particularly in southern Tel Aviv.

The new plan comes just a week after the Cabinet voted in favor of a new law allowing police to hold infiltrators in detention centers for up to a year, after the previous law allowing three years of detention was overturned by the Supreme Court. It is estimated the new law will cost 500,000 shekels ($140,000) to implement.

The plan, submitted by Minister of the Interior Gideon Saar, details that law enforcement teams will receive roughly 550 new personnel to better enforce the law against the estimated 50,000 illegal immigrants currently in Israel, as well as those that employ the infiltrators in violation of the law.

In particular, the plan focuses on returning security to southern Tel Aviv. Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch said of the plan "130 additional officers will allow for a significant increase in enforcement and will assist in improving citizens' personal security and in combating crime in the (south Tel Aviv) area."

An increase in law enforcement is seen as a welcome move by many, particularly since last Tuesday, when the government indicated infiltrators would be released from detention with a warning not to go to southern Tel Aviv and other hard-hit areas, but further admitted it could not enforce those stipulations.

Aside from enforcement, financial incentives for infiltrators to go back to their countries were also listed in the new plan.

According to Saar's proposal, which has Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's approval, illegal immigrants will receive a grant of $1,500 to $3,500 for obeying the law and going home.

Following the plan's approval, Netanyahu said "the steps that we unanimously approved today are proportionate and necessary for maintaining the Jewish and democratic character of the state and will restore security to Israel's citizens while upholding the directives of the High Court of Justice and international law."