Meridor: Violence wave not migrants´ fault (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Attila Somfalvi Published: 05.18.12, 16:41)
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Minister tells Ynet says completion of fence along Egyptian
border ´fundamental solution´ to illegal immigration problem.
Minister Erdan: Residents of south Tel Aviv feel as though they no
longer live in Israel
"Israel must work towards reaching agreements with the migrants´ home
countries and send them back. Those who remain as refugees should be
treated humanely," Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor (Likud) told
Ynet amid a surge in violence in areas that are heavily populated by
African migrants – mainly in south Tel Aviv.
Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan (Likud) also claimed
the illegal migrants´ should not be "expelled," but simply "returned"
to their countries of origin.
The minister said that during a recent tour of south Tel Aviv he
noticed that the "lives of tens of thousands of Israelis had changed
"They feel as though they do not live in the State of Israel
anymore," Erdan said. "Despite the humane manner in which we want to
treat the poor refugees who have suffered so much in their countries,
as a minister I am committed to the well-being of (Israel´s)
Erdan continued to say that "not all (migrants) are violent and not
all of them are alcoholics, but a social problem has been created,
and it is our responsibility to solve it. Many of the migrants do not
work, and this leads to phenomena that may deteriorate to violence."
Both ministers said the short-term solution calls for increased
police presence on city streets, but Meridor stressed that the recent
wave of violence "is not related to the migrants, but to Israeli
society" as a whole.
Erdan called for legislation that would allow Israel to send those
who try to enter the country illegally back to their home
countries. "It must be understood that they fled poverty and despair,
and we should by no means expel them, but we must send them back or
else poverty and despair will grow here as well," he said. "We should
(send back) tens of thousands in a humane manner - with some economic
Meridor also called for the completion of the border fence along
Israel´s border with Egypt as soon as possible. "This is the
fundamental solution to the problem," he said.
Erdan warned that tens of thousands of migrants may cross the border
in the coming months. "As soon as a fence is erected, the flow of
refugees will stop," he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the issue during his
visit to the Czech Republic, saying "we are not against foreign
workers; we are against illegal infiltrators. Our policy calls to
first of all stop the flood. Israel´s success attracts masses from
Africa. The (border) fence will be completed in a few months."
The PM said it is estimated that there are currently between 60,000
and 70,000 migrants in Israel, but warned that "it could easily reach
600,000 or 700,000. The repercussions for a small country such as
Israel are strategic." (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 05/18/12)
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