Illegal immigrants in Tel Aviv
Illegal immigrants in Tel AvivIsrael News photo: Flash 90

The Tel Aviv Municipality and police officials are set to enforce the law against illegally owned businesses of Eritrean and Sudanese immigrants located in neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv.

The municipality has conducted searches of businesses such as restaurants, pubs, and clubs owned by immigrants with work visas. Many lack the necessary business permits and are operating their businesses illegally.

The municipality has said  that they will not issue business licenses to holders of 3-month temporary work visas. In the past, licenses have been granted to those who have submitted the necessary requirements regardless of their visa status.

The operation comes amid complaints by residents and by neighboring Israeli owned businesses who have claimed the foreigners have ‘taken over the area’ and have conducted crimes of vandalism and violence.

In a response by the Tel Aviv Municipality International Press Director Mira Marcus said “the Tel Aviv Municipality is forced to deal with tens of thousands of immigrants arriving to the neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv. with almost no help from outside authorities. One of the problems the city is dealing with is the ability to enforce the law against illegal businesses or those who breach the license terms.

“The Attorney General decided that a distinction should be made between the ability to open a business and the ability to work, as opening a business is an act with a permanent nature that does not comply with a temporary visa," said Marcus.

Cases against Eritrean and Sudanese immigrants, as well as run-ins between immigrants and police, nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012.