Infiltrators Demand to Talk With Netanyahu

Infiltrator representatives demand talk with PM, Interior Minister; threaten more massive protests and strikes until granted refugee status.

Ari Yashar ,

Binyamin Netanyahu meets infiltrator (file)
Binyamin Netanyahu meets infiltrator (file)
Flash 90

Representatives of the illegal infiltrators from Sudan and Eritrea held a press conference on Tuesday, declaring their intentions to continue the protests of thousands of illegal immigrants in Tel Aviv ongoing since Sunday, and further demanding to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The illegal immigrants stated that they will continue protests until all of their requests for refugee status are checked and authorized, with the granting of the full rights associated with that status.

Aside from Netanyahu, infiltrators insisted on meeting with Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, who initiated the new infiltrator law December 10, calling for the enforcement of law through the detainment of infiltrators up to a year in a special facility as their status is checked.

Sa'ar said Monday that his office was advancing policies to encourage infiltrators to leave. "We are beginning to see results,” reported Sa'ar, adding "about 5,000 are leaving a year."

The infiltrator leaders presented their position on Tuesday.

"We have tried to explain we're a law observing community," said Mutasim Ali, a leader of the protest of illegal immigrants. "When we saw our brothers walking from the Holot open detention facility to Jerusalem, we said we must do something."

Part of the reason Israel has actively pursued enforcement against the infiltrators is the rampant violent crime that has accompanied them. This crime was demonstrated on Monday as a restaurant owner in Tel Aviv was stabbed by an infiltrator, not far from the protests, and last Wednesday as a young women was brutally beaten by an illegal immigrant.

On Monday, the protesting infiltrators moved their massive crowds to in front of the foreign embassies in Tel Aviv, and further began striking from their illegal jobs. Ali claims the government "brought on itself" the strike.

"We aren't ready to continue anymore with this policy," complained Ali. "We aren't waiting for someone to help us. We are helping ourselves. We decided to continue the strike until further announcement. ...We have nothing to lose."

"The decision the Israeli government is giving us today is threatening: go to jail or return home," said Ali.

Meanwhile Sa'ar clarified this week that Israel is "acting in accordance with the Refugee Convention, and the counsel of the Attorney General," adding that "we are checking the requests individually. The protesters yesterday want us to check the requests collectively."

"Only a small minority from the massive community even presented requests" for shelter as refugees, noted Saar. "The decisive majority of requests are from job seekers, and not refugees."