Rights Groups Call Planned Migrant Detention Center a Disgrace to Israel

By Dana Weiler-Polak (Haaretz) and Haaretz Service

Published November 28, 2010.

A cabinet decision on Sunday approving a plan to hold and deport thousands of illegal migrant workers drew the ire of rights groups, who called the plan a disgrace on the State of Israel and said such a move would do nothing to halt the stream of infiltrators crossing over from Sinai.

Israel’s cabinet approved on Sunday a plan to hold and deport thousands of illegal migrant workers whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as a “threat to the character of the country.”

In remarks to the cabinet, Netanyahu said thousands of migrants who have entered Israel mainly through Egypt in past years would be housed at a special holding facility, due to be built in Israel’s southern Negev desert.

“We must stop the mass entry of illegal migrant workers because of the very serious threat to the character and future to the State of Israel,” he said, adding Israelis who gave them work would face severe fines to make their employment not viable.

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