'The ruling has more holes than Swiss cheese'

Justice Minister Shaked rails against ruling on illegal immigrants: 'Israel will be flooded with infiltrators.'

Shimon Cohen ,

Holes in the ruling. Ayelet Shaked
Holes in the ruling. Ayelet Shaked
Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has announced that the Ministry has begun preparations to appeal recent rulings by the Appeals Tribunal, under the Entry into Israel Law (which deals with immigration policy).

"The rulings have more holes in them than Swiss cheese," Shaked declared.

"Over the past decade Israel has been dealing with a wave of illegal immigration, and currently over 50,000 infiltrators are in Israeli territory. So far, over 7,000 requests of asylum have been filed with the Interior Ministry by Eritreans, mostly due to desertion and/or dodging of army service. The ruling by the Tribunal will breach the dam and allow the tide of infiltrators to start again, after the government has just managed to stem it. Thousands of illegal immigrants will flood the country and receive legal permission to stay here, due to the Tribunal's rulings," Minister Shaked warns.

Shaked provided two reasons why the Tribunal's ruling is unfounded:

"One mistaken assumption made by the Tribunal is that requests for asylum aren't examined closely and individually. This isn't true. There is a committee active in the Interior Ministry which advises the Interior Minister on matters of asylum requests. This is a committee made up of professionals that advise the minister about each individual case after it is specifically examined, and the committee requests additional information as needed. Only after a detailed investigation does the committee make its recommendation to the Minister. The upshot of this is that there are no decisions made in a sweeping manner for large groups of people, but rather each case is examined individually according to its particular circumstances."

The Justice Minister explained further: "Another important point is that after years of pursuing a lenient policy toward deserters from the Eritrean army, the British government - after a large-scale investigation of the issues - last month published new directives regarding Eritrean asylum-seekers. These directives stipulate that deserting or dodging the Eritrean army doesn't in itself constitute a basis for refugee status. This is precisely Israel's policy, and the Tribunal is undermining it."