Tel-Aviv Yafo's mayor, Ron Hulda'i, reacted Sunday to the demonstration by tens of thousands of infiltrators from Africa, who assembled at Rabin Square and demanded that the government allow them to stay in Israel and work legally.
"The demonstration today is only the beginning of a process that unfortunately will only escalate,” he predicted, “and I regret to say that we will see violence in the streets.”
Hulda'i accused the government of ignoring the difficulties that the infiltrators face, as well as the difficulties faced by residents who suffer from the immigrants. He demanded that a clear government policy be determined vis-a-vis the infiltrators who have flooded Israel, and Tel Aviv particularly.
To this end, he added, funds and resources must be set aside for dealing with the problems of immigration policy, education, welfare, personal security and employment.
Thousands of immigrant workers marched from Levinsky street in Tel Aviv to Rabin Square, calling out “Freedom Yes, Prison No.” They also declared a three-day strike to protest the government's policy toward them. “We have not been accepted in a positive way,” a demonstrator said. “We did not ask that Israel be our state, we only wanted freedom.”
Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud-Beytenu) attacked the infiltrators' strike Sunday evening, after they announced that they want to receive immigration benefits and be given the status of refugees. “The current situation demonstrates that this is a time bomb that can only be neutralized by swiftly taking the infiltrators back to their country.”