MK: Shoot everyone trying to cross Israel border (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Gili Cohen 06/04/12)
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During a tour of the Israel-Egypt border on Sunday, MK Aryeh Eldad
(National Union) said that IDF forces should shoot at anyone that
crosses into Israeli territory.
“Anyone that penetrates Israel’s border should be shot, a Swedish
tourist, Sudanese from Eritrea, Eritreans from Sudan, Asians from
Sinai. Whoever touches Israel’s border – shot,” said Eldad.
Eldad, along with other members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee toured the Israel-Egypt border on Sunday, and
received a briefing from Southern Front commander Maj. Gen. Tal Russo
on Israel Defense Forces activities in the sector.
Committee chairperson, Roni Bar-On (Kadima) pointed out that “the
responsibility for policy concerning infiltrators lies with the
state, not with the IDF. All along, the guidelines handed down to the
IDF by the state have been unclear.” Bar-On commented on the border
fence being built, calling the pace of the construction “impressive.”
According to goals set by the Defense Ministry, completion of the 240
kilometer fence is expected by the end of 2012, if not sooner.
“The cost of the fence is around 2 billion Shekels, today, we need
patience until construction is completed. The amount of infiltrators
will drop significantly. It is clear that at this point, the problems
in Sinai are not at the top of Egypt’s list of priorities, but only
the third priority,” added Bar-On.
MK Eldad, who stated that anyone approaching the fence should be
shot, attempted to mitigate his statements. “It isn’t feasible to
shoot anyone just climbing the fence – because bleeding hearts groups
will immediately begin to shriek and turn to the courts. I don’t see
the IDF handing down orders to shoot at people climbing the fence
empty handed. The best alternative is prolonged imprisonment. Anyone
attempting to cross the fence will be given a long jail sentence,”
The IDF’s 80th division, responsible for security in the sector,
reported a decrease in the amount of African migrants reaching areas
where the fence has been completed. Also, division commanders
explained that in other areas, where there is no fence preventing the
passage of smuggler caravans from the Sinai Peninsula, the number of
African migrants crossing the border has increased.
Security officials have expressed fears over the “T trail,” as it is
known among IDF soldiers, a passageway that starts in Sinai (or the
Gaza Strip), continues into Jordan, and from Jordan into Israel.
According to MK Ofir Akunis (Likud), government plans are already in
place to construct a fence between Eilat and the Dead Sea, along the
Jordanian border, though a budget has yet to be allocated for the
Population and Immigration Authority began implementation of the
amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law of 1954. The law was
expanded to address migrant workers or asylum seekers who enter
Israel without posing a threat to Israel´s security.
So far, all migrants who have been caught by the Israel Defense
Forces on the Israel-Egypt border have been transferred to the
Saharonim detention facility which holds 2,000 spaces.
The facility is currently being expanded to 5,400. The Interior
Ministry has reported that they are implementing the amendment and
will fill up Saharonim, where they will be held until the
ministry "finds other solutions."
According to the Interior Ministry, the Saharonim detention center
will run out of space within a month.
Construction of a new detention facility began a month ago, and is
currently, in “advanced earthwork” stages, according to the Defense
Ministry. According to estimations, the facility should open at the
end of the year, with a capacity for 3,000 detainees. The long term
goal is for the facility to be able to hold roughly 11,000 migrants.
According to the ministry, up to 60,000 African migrant currently
live in Israel, with 2,031 entering in the month of May alone. (©
Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 06/04/12)
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