Sudanese migrant in Israel
Sudanese migrant in IsraelIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The growing phenomenon of illegal infiltrators from Sudan seems to be spreading throughout Israel, and has now reached the city of Ashkelon.

The parents’ association of an arts school in the city is currently trying to fight the phenomenon of dozens of Sudanese workers who come near the school and spend most of their day in the area.

The chairwoman of the school’s parents’ association, Miri Altit, told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that this phenomenon has serious security implications.

“They come here by the dozens, they mill around near the school fence as they wait to be picked up for work,” she said. “They can be here for hours, and some of them sleep in tin structures in the nearby industrial area.”

Altit added that the workers choose to wait for their rides to work near the school because of its proximity to the city's main exit.

“At first they would stand further down the road, but after they were distanced from there, they arrived at the school,” she said. “It’s much more convenient for them to wait there. They also have a wooden area with abandoned buildings opposite the school, which is where they relieve themselves.”

“The students go out to play and see them,” added Altit. “This is an educational institution and it cannot be that dozens of people will gather there. There are also teenage girls in the school and their parents are afraid to send them to afterschool programs. The police occasionally did send some cops over, but once they leave, the infiltrators come back.”

She called on the city and the police to take action and move the infiltrators elsewhere.

“We contacted the police and the mayor, there were discussions on the issue and we suggested they establish a special area for them to gather,” said Altit. “The mayor is apparently afraid that doing this will attract more foreign workers here, but we demand an immediate solution.”

Arutz Sheva contacted the city of Ashkelon to receive a comment on the issue but has yet to receive it. The Ashkelon police was also contacted and responded by saying that the phenomenon of illegal infiltrators is a national phenomenon being taken care of by the government.

“In terms of their involvement in incidents of crime, we as police provide solutions and uninterrupted treatment of the problem,” the police said.

Last week, the Ministry of Defense authorized plans to establish a detention center for illegal immigrants in southern Israel.

The center will cost NIS 250 million and is expected to begin receiving detainees within six months. Officials said that "emphasis will be placed on the maintenance of community life."

The center’s construction comes on the heels of an order from the Interior Ministry to the National Immigration Authority to prepare to return illegal Sudanese immigrants in Israel to their country of origin.

Israel is offering an assistance basket of 1,000 Euros per person for illegal immigrants from South Sudan who identify themselves and agree to be deported by April 1.

Earlier this month, the Population, Immigration and Border Authority said that thousands of infiltrators continued to sneak into the Jewish State through the south illegally in January.

According to statistics released by the government, 2,295 infiltrators crossed the southern border with Egypt. Among them were 1,805 men, 429 women and 61 children.

Even more made the same journey during the month of December. Of the 2,931 infiltrators who crossed the southern border in the final month of 2011 -- a record number -- most were from Sudan. 

Residents in southern towns and cities have seen their populations swell with thousands of Sudanese and Eritrean infiltrators over the past year.