Sudanese workers in Tel Aviv
Sudanese workers in Tel AvivFlash90

Illegal work immigrants who commit crimes in Israel will be locked up at the special holding facilities for infiltrators pending their repatriation, the Attorney General and Justice Ministry made clear Wednesday. The A-G explained that the arrest, in such circumstances, is not the punishment for the crimes committed and will not replace any criminal prosecution that the immigrants may face for the crimes.

Rather, the arrest is justified because the immigrants were granted freedom to stay in Israel on condition that they behave properly and respect its laws. If they fail to do so, they forfeit their right to this freedom, the A-G explained.

The decision to place immigrants who commit crimes under lock and key is intended "to assist in providing a proper public solution for a populace made up of infiltrators who are involved in crime… on the one hand, and a lessening of the damage to public order, on the other."

The A-G expressed hope that the measure will help reduce the harm to public order and the sense of security of the public that lives in the areas where there are many infiltrators.

The illegal work immigrants in Israel hail largely from Eritrea and Sudan, and are disproportionately involved in violent crime. Residents of the neighborhoods where they are concentrated have held numerous demonstrations, protesting that the government is ignoring their plight.