Supreme Court throws out anti-infiltrator law

Israel's Supreme Court strikes down law requiring illegal infiltrators to deposit fifth of their salaries to ensure timely exit from country

Eitan Divinsky ,

Infiltrators protesting in Tel Aviv
Infiltrators protesting in Tel Aviv
Flash 90

The Israeli Supreme Court on Thursday accepted petitions against the "Deposit Law", stating that the law requiring infiltrators to deposit a fifth of their salaries as a deposit to be returned to them upon leaving the country is unconstitutional.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court found the law deducting a fifth of the wages of illegal immigrants to Israel to be unconstitutional.

According to the decision, the employee component, as opposed to other components of the law, denoted a clear, tangible and significant violation of illegals' rights since their salaries usually happen to be their only property and are, for the most part, below the minimum wage.

In this regard, the judges noted that according to the data presented by the state, the deduction of the "employee component", i.e. creating an incentive to encourage voluntary departure from Israel, was limited in scope. According to the Court, this was due to a decline in the number of infiltrators who have left Israel since the law took effect, and in view of the fact that the vast majority of infiltrators whose salaries were deposited immigrated to the West, placing in question the connection between their departure and the law.

According to the Foreign Workers Law, it is compulsory for infiltrates working in Israel to deposit a monthly deposit equal to 36% of their wages to be reimbursed upon leaving the country. Of this amount, 16% are paid by the employer (employer component) while 20% is deducted from the employee's salary (employee component). The petitioners, amongst them infiltrators and various human rights groups, petitioned for the annulment of the law and or cancellation of parts of it.

The court determined that the deposit would be based only on the employer component (16%) and approved the "administrative deduction," according to which certain amounts could be deducted from the employer's salary towards the deposit, as long as there was a delay in the departure of the employee infiltrating the country relative to the declared date of departure.

According to the Court's ruling this arrangement will enable the main feature of the arrangement to be fulfilled - to create a positive economic incentive for infiltrators to leave the country at their appointed time, without seriously harming their earnings.

Justice Sohlberg held a minority opinion that although the infiltrators' right to property would be infringed, its severity should not be overstated, and that the deposit arrangement offered inherent social benefits. He stated that in this case, there was no justification for the exceptional relief requested in the petition - the repeal of Knesset primary legislation.

Shafi Paz and Doron Avrahami said on behalf of anti-infiltrator southern Tel Aviv activists: "The deposit law has never been properly implemented anyway and the enlightened Supreme Court judges have already mowed it down. So perhaps it is better that way. No pretenses. Now that we have a new government, maybe it can provide us with an official proclamation that southern Tel Aviv has been formally annexed to Eritrea and the only law that applies to it is the Law of Violence and Blackmail or will they move their backsides at some point and liberate us from their contempt for coronavirus safety measures?"

"Supreme Court judges have occupied the role of our executioners for years. More or less disqualification will not change the fact that we have been extradited and we will soon have no choice but to defend ourselves inside our own homes or take up arms. What is certain is that the Supreme Court is a sad joke and we totally disobey its authority. As far as we care, they can build a glass house in Asmara (capital of Eritrea) and learn to speak Tigrinya (official language of Eritrea)."

"Arye Deri, Binyamin Netanyahu, and (National Security Adviser Meir) Ben Shabbat are responsible for this fiasco amongst others, who allowed this ongoing disaster to continue instead of making their voices heard and kicking these intruders and opinion thieves, with the money they're making and funding the regimes back home, constantly seeking compromise and surrender, out of here. We have nothing to discuss with the infiltrators and petitioners. They are a bunch of crooks and liars deceiving the public, the media, the judges and the government."



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