During Operation Protective Edge, many of the social issues plaguing Israel were put on the back burner – but with the war over, unresolved issues have resurfaced, seeking a solution.
Among those issues remains the preponderance of illegal African migrants in many parts of Israel, especially in south Tel Aviv, where tens of thousands are said to live and have caused a dramatic escalation in crime.
On Monday, hundreds of residents of the neighborhoods were back on the protest lines, demanding that the High Court not stand in the way of the continued arrest, detention, and deportation of illegals.
The government opened a detention facility in Holot near the Sinai border last December, which 1,800 illegals are allowed to leave but are required to sign in three times a day and return for an evening curfew. The Court is reviewing this and other policies regarding the infiltrators.
Last week, US-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Israel of "illegally" sending almost 7,000 illegal immigrants back to their home countries in Africa.
"Israel's convoluted legal rules thwart Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers' attempts to secure protection under Israeli and international law," claimed HRW in the 83-page report.
Responding to the accusatory HRW report, a spokesperson for Israel's Population and Migration Authority said "Israel acts legally and in an appropriate and proportional manner in order to deal with the phenomenon of illegal infiltrators. The growth in number of those leaving Israel of their own will is three times higher in 2014 than in 2013. This proves the policy is effective."
Aside from the new legislation, another factor in the rising number of infiltrators choosing to go home may have been the terror war Hamas launched on Israel in July and in August.
While there was no specific connection to the war, observers said that many in the infiltrator community were taken by surprise by the intensity of the war – and many of them have apparently decided that Israel isn't necessarily the best place for them.
A total of 379 illegalsvoluntarily left Israel in August, more than had left the previous four months altogether. It was also significantly more than had left the country in August the previous year, when 216 illegals voluntarily emigrated.
So far this year, 5,388 illegal Africans have left Israel voluntarily; Israeli authorities who have investigated the infiltrators have repeatedly reported that nearly all of them snuck into Israel looking for job opportunities.