Anger in Tel Aviv Over Illegal African Influx

Dozens of residents of south Tel Aviv demonstrated over the likely influx of thousands of illegal Africans into their neighborhood

David Lev ,

Illegal immigrants in Tel Aviv
Illegal immigrants in Tel Aviv
Israel News photo: Flash 90

Dozens of residents of south Tel Aviv on Tuesday demonstrated, after the High Court on Monday declared the government's policy on detaining illegal immigrants – under which illegals could be detained for up to three years – violated several Basic Laws. Some 2,000 illegal Africans are to be freed from an encampment in the Negev in the next 90 days, most likely heading to Tel Aviv, where there is already a large illegal African community. The government has the option to attempt to deport the illegals, but many of them claim that they are genuine refugees from political repression, so deporting them would likely be a long and costly process.

While there are groups of illegals throughout the country, many of them have taken up residence in south Tel Aviv. Sometimes living dozens to an apartment, the illegals have proven themselves to be a violent and often criminal population. Jewish residents of the area complain of being assaulted, attacked, robbed, intimidated, and worse by the illegals, who, many long-time residents say, seem to have made it their objective to turn south Tel Aviv into an “Africans only” zone.

In protest over the court decision, and the likely influx of thousands of illegals into their neighborhood, residents stage a march Tuesday night decrying the 9-0 court decision canceling the law. The protesters blocked roads and loudly marched through the neighborhood shouting slogans about how, once again, they were being “shafted” by the powers that be. “We are the backyard of Tel Aviv,” said one protester. “We are refugees in this neighborhood. We chose to listen to and uphold the law, and look where it got us.”

Earlier, the Knesset Interior Committee held an angry discussion on the matter, focusing on the suffering of residents of south Tel Aviv. One resident, Oved Hugi, said that over Yom Kippur illegal Africans “made barbecues, played loud music, and threw bottles at each other.” Similar behavior was was displayed on Memorial Day and Independence Day, he said.

In a demonstration of his frustration, Hugi demanded that he be issued a certificate attesting to his being an illegal alien as well. “I'm not kidding. I would have 40 non-profits taking care of us, the High Court would protect us. We Israelis are the ones with something to worry about,” he said.