Minister Eli Yishai
Minister Eli YishaiIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Thursday instructed the Department of Immigration and Population to begin repatriating illegal aliens infiltrators from the Ivory Coast.

Yishai announced that those who leave Israel the next two weeks will receive a grant of USD 500 per adult and USD 100 per child.

However, those who refuse to identify themselves and voluntarily return to their country of origin will be arrested and deported without financial assistance.

A previous offer of an assistance basket for illegal immigrants in Israel who agreed to return to their countries of origin met little success.

Yishai said exceptions can be made for refugees, but pointed out that only a small number of illegal aliens came to Israel to escape death or imprisonment.

Tens of thousands of Africans have illegally entered Israel in recent years, yet the government largely ignored the problem until the recent movement of the Africans from southern cities to metropolitan Tel Aviv.

Yiahi noted that Sudnaese and other Africans have flooded Eilat, Arad and most recently the southern area of Tel Aviv.

Officials in Tel Aviv said they estimate some 100,000 illegal African immigrants live in the city.