´Infiltrators imprisonment plan unrealistic´ (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Omri Efraim Published: 06.04.12, 08:41)
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Implementation of three-year detention directive in regards to
illegal migrant stirs controversy, as IPS says it lacks space; human
rights groups threaten legal action
Illegal, unrealistic and inhumane, that is how human rights groups
dubbed the Immigration Authority´s announcement that it will begin to
implement the legal directive allowing the detention of illegal
migrants for up to three years.
Sunday´s statement, which said the directive will be enforced
effective immediately, met with skepticism by the Israel Prison
Service as well, as IPS officials said that the prison system in
Israel lacks the space needed to successfully implement such a
Sources in the Prime Minister´s Office admitted Monday that the
plan´s effectiveness is questionable, adding that the measure´s main
purpose at this time is deterrence.
The sources added that the government´s goal is to raise awareness
and hopefully decrease the number of infiltrators crossing into
Israel every month.
Meanwhile, human right groups criticized the order. Attorney Oded
Feller from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said that the
government was "selling the public fantasies. There isn´t enough room
to hold those who are already here and those that will come in the
"Instead of dealing with reality, by which the majority of the
infiltrators are asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan, the Interior
Ministry chooses to detain them for nothing."
Feller further urged the government to divert the funds it intends to
invest in building holding facilities towards finding solutions for
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees´ representative in
Israel, William Tall, said that "This law should be enforced on
illegal infiltrators only, not on asylum seekers. If Israel imposes
it on the latter, for unlimited periods of time, we will turn to the
Legal System for remedies."
Tall added that it was the State´s responsibility to provide asylum
seekers with shelter and protection, "In accordance to the
international treaties Israel signed. You cannot deport people who
arrive in your country seeking asylum.
"Ninety percent of these people come here from Eritrea and Sudan.
Israel offers them protection and then turns around and calls
them ´infiltrators.´ That´s a problem. Israel has to clear up its
Tall said he sympathized with the plight of the residents of south
Tel Aviv, but expressed concern over the growing violence towards
migrants. (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 06/04/12)
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