Netanyahu Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explained Monday the decision to cancel the plan for near-total deport of illegal infiltrators and reach an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the issue of the infiltrators.

"From the moment we understood that the solution of [sending the infiltrators to] a third country was not on the table, and that the situation was that everyone would remain, we found ourselve in a trap," Netanyahu explained.

He said that the deal reached with the UNHCR was an "unprecedented agreement."

Under the agreement, the UNHCR would work to bring at least 16,250 of the infiltrators to Western countries, on condition that Israel grant visas to the rest of the infiltrators.

Netanyahu listed several of the countries which would accept the infiltrators under the agreement. "This agreement will allow for the departure from Israel of 16,250 migrants to developed countries, such as Canada, Germany and Italy," he said.

The agreement claims that most of those who will remain would have remained anyways, due to their "status" as a "protected population."

According to the Prime Minister, with the Supreme Court cancellation of the plan to deport the majority of illegal infiltrators, the government was faced with the choice of allowing nearly all of the infiltrators to remain in Israel or working towards an international agreement which would meet with the approval of the UN and face no concerns under international law. The agreement is said to remove a greater number of infiltrators than the previous plan.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit also gave his approval to the deal.

The Prime Minister's Office said that the UN plan is divided into three sections, and will take up to five years. When the process is complete, the lives of those living in southern Tel Aviv will be "significantly" improved.

A new administration for rehabilitation southern Tel Aviv will be established, and it will include representatives from the Tel Aviv municipality, as well as neighborhood representatives. The money intended to implement and enforce the law will instead be invested into developing and rehabilitating the neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv.

Residents of southern Tel Aviv slammed the deal as "disgraceful" and an abandonment of Israeli citizens.

Shlomo Maslawi, the chairman of the Hatikva neighborhood committee and a member of the Tel Aviv city council, said that "the solution proposed by the Israeli government will cause damage to generations to come and does irreversible damage to the state. The Israeli government carried out a hijacking under of noses of residents of southern Tel Aviv."

"The Israeli government promised all the time that the residents of southern Tel Aviv would be involved - and it just did not happen, and the disregard for the residents simply cries out to the heavens," he added.

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