Major Tel Aviv Police Sting Busts Infiltrator Bars

Over 150 officers swoop in to break up 30 crime dens near TA central station, frequented by illegal infiltrators and breaching health codes.

Ari Yashar,

Illegal infiltrators (illustration)
Illegal infiltrators (illustration)
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Tel Aviv district police launched a massive crackdown Thursday night closing 30 African bars in the Old Central Bus Station of the city, which served as crime dens for illegal infiltrators and posed security threats due to extreme sub-par safety standards.

Over 150 police officers, Yassam SWAT forces, tax investigators, as well as representatives of the municipality, gas authority and Israel Electric Corporation were involved in the sting operation according to Walla!, making it one of the largest operations in the area.

Shortly after 9:30 PM, Tel Aviv police chief Cmdr. David Gaz gave the order to launch the operation, at which the police, Yassam, and even Border Patrol forces broke into units with each one cracking down on different bar crime havens that were located in advance, catching those inside by surprise.

The numerous legal breaches discovered in the sting included pirate attachments to the electric grid to steal electricity, managing businesses without tax books, as well as serious health infringements in terms of food standards.

Officers likewise found numerous gas leaks due to illegal pirate connections to gas balloons, a situation that posed the particularly dangerous threat of an explosion.

"All the places that we cracked down on are places where criminal activities have been committed, and the court issued judicial closure orders against them," explained Gaz.

At the end of the operation, furniture and electric equipment from the closed establishments were loaded onto 15 trucks, and metalworkers functioning in the service of the municipality welded the doors of the bars shut as the hundreds of Sudanese and Eritrean infiltrators who had been inside watched.

The issue of the tens of thousands of illegal infiltrators is a serious one, particularly in southern Tel Aviv where residents are exposed to endless crime, with many Jewish residents saying they are terrified of leaving their homes and begging the government to take action.

While leftist organizations have claimed the infiltrators are refugees, figures presented by the state have shown the overwhelming majority of them are not refugees, but rather work migrants breaking the law in a search of greater job opportunities.

The Knesset has been in a battle with the High Court to pass a law allowing the detainment of the illegal infiltrators, after the High Court struck down two earlier versions of laws proposing such steps.

The Knesset on Sunday passed a watered-down version of the law that would allow infiltrators to be held for three months in the Saharonim closed facility, then transferred to the open Holot facility to be held for up to 20 further months. If the law isn't passed or is overruled, Holot will have to be closed by December 22.

Yonatan Yakubovich, head of the NGO Israeli Immigration Policy Center's publicity department, explained that upcoming elections may harm the law and mean the release of illegal infiltrators.








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