Netanyahu: Action on African migrants

2012-05-20 21:33

kalahari.com

Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday highlighted the dangers of an uncontrollable influx of African migrants to the Jewish state while vowing he would act to resolve the issue.

The phenomenon of "illegal work infiltrators" is "very grave and threatens the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity," he told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting.

If Israel did not prevent illegal African migrants from entering, the current "60 000 illegal infiltrators could easily grow to 600 000 illegal infiltrators.

"This would inundate the state and, to a considerable degree, cancel out its image as a Jewish and democratic state," Netanyahu said in remarks relayed by his office.

Official figures for 2011 showed there were some 52 487 illegal African immigrants in Israel by the end of the year, but the statistics do not differentiate between refugees and economic migrants.

Some are asylum seekers fleeing persecution, while others are economic migrants. Many of them from Sudan and Eritrea. Almost all of them sneak across the border from the Egyptian Sinai and end up living in the run-down neighbourhoods around Tel Aviv's central bus station.

The heated debate over the rising tide of African nationals arriving in Israel was highlighted last week by the indictment of a young Israeli on charges of arson after he threw Molotov cocktails at migrant homes in south Tel Aviv.

And on Friday, police said they had arrested three Eritrean nationals in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old girl.

Over the weekend, the issue dominated the Israeli press, with news channels hosting pundits and airing the frustrations of residents of Tel Aviv and the southern Red Sea resort town of Eilat, also a key destination for arrivals from Africa.

Netanyahu said the first need was "to build a physical barrier" referring to the 250km fence that Israel is constructing along the Egyptian border.

He also vowed to "severely punish" those employing illegal immigrants and that Israel would ensure the "physical removal" of the migrants, without specifying how.

At the start of the year, Netanyahu said he was planning to visit several African capitals to discuss the issue of immigration, but so far no such plans have been made public.

- SAPA
Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  migration
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
34 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

• Cultivate your intuitive powers – intuition and insight are emphasized today. The focus is still on organisation and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.