Israel to build migrant detention camp

2012-02-07 22:08

Jerusalem - Israeli planning authorities on Tuesday approved construction of a detention centre for illegal immigrants, at a projected cost of €51m, the defence ministry said.

The formal authorisation follows a November 2010 cabinet decision to build a facility for mostly African migrants smuggled across Israel's borders but who for legal reasons cannot immediately be deported to their countries.

Tuesday's defence ministry statement said that the new facility to be built in the south of the country would start receiving detainees within the first half of 2012.

It said that it would have an initial capacity of 3 000 people, rising to 11 000 by completion.

"The majority of the structures will be mobile and/or collapsible," it said so that they could be used again for future projects.

Israel is erecting a giant security barrier along its 240km border with Egypt's Sinai peninsula and plans to put up a similar structure along its 238km frontier with Jordan.

Work on the Egypt barrier began a year ago, in a project initially aimed at stemming a growing tide of African migrants, as well as clamping down on cross-border trafficking in drugs and women.

According to Israeli government data a total of 16 816 Africans entered Israel illegally from Egypt in 2011.

The government fears that once the Egyptian border fence is complete migrants will attempt to sneak in from Jordan until that frontier is also sealed.

  • Jaba - 2012-02-07 22:24

    Everyone in North Africa & the Middle East hate them - yet they all want to live there. It is a fact that a Muslim has more freedoms in Israel than anywhere else in the Arab world. The Arab spring might change this fact, however for now, if you looking for a brighter future Israel is the place no matter how much anti-Israel propaganda they feed you. It is of no surprise that Arabs in Israel have voted overwhelmingly to stay Israeli citizens when a Palestinian state is born. The Border Wall Israel is building is no different to the one currently under construction between Mexico and the United States.

  • cramer3 - 2012-02-08 00:50

    Seems like a good idea--let's concentrate these undesirables into camps, maybe get them to do a bit of work.

  • Jerzy - 2012-02-08 05:20

    Another uneducated and ill informed comment from Jaba who is obviusly not well travelled. Here's one for you, have you ever been to any of the gulf countries or Turkey? ARAB Abu Dhabi is the richest city in the world as stated by Fortune magazine, and neighboring Dubai has is something Israeli's can only dream about. I dont see Kuwaiti's, Qatari's or residents of UAE rushing over there in the millions. Why on earth would you give up heaven to live in hell. You simply can't compare Israel to these countries. It's like comparing oranje to New York. What you also fail to realize is that numerous countries around the globe are faced with illegal immigration problems, and it's not something unique to Israel. I bet they wont detain white illegal immigrants though.

      Jaba - 2012-02-08 08:05

      I agree with you about these nations being rich. And the citizens of the UAE etc are very well of financially. But I’m not just talking about money – even though Israel (without oil) is one of the most technologically advanced nations on earth; from the chip in your DSTV, I-Phone or Blackberry to Voicemail, medical care or fruits & Vegetables that you buy in Pick n Pay, woollies or Checkers using Israeli farming techniques & products. So ye they rich… but with financial freedom I add other freedoms too. Are your friends in the rich Arab world 1) Guaranteed Civil Liberties: 2) is there Freedom of speech and press 3) Freedom of religion for all 4) is there Freedom of assembly 5) are there Women's rights 6) Gay & Lesbian Equality 7) Politics & Elections. Well every Jew Muslim and Christian is afforded the above rights & privileges in Israel. I will admit though – when you do need a ‘number2’ there are NO gold toilets in Israel. PS. I am very well travelled – im overseas 3 times a year. Have been to Dubai, Bahrain, Egypt Israel and the Palestinian territories amongst my 40 or so destinations that I have visited.

      Warwick - 2012-02-08 09:01

      If that is true, why do these illegal Africans want to go to Israel. Why are they not trying to get into all the muslim countries of the middle east, seeing that they are all so well off and free.

  • phathuchicos - 2012-05-28 15:28

    If jews are busy concentrating refugees of colour then here in SA we should consider doing the same to one of them...

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-28 15:47

      It's a detention center for illegal immigrants in transit to their countries of origin

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