Israel's Battle With Illegal African Immigrants

With the number of African migrants living in Israel currently around 60,000, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently instructed the Defense Ministry to erect tent cities to hold African migrants.

Formulated in the past as a contingency plan for an Israeli civilian population fleeing population centers during wartime, the original plan called for setting up temporary tent cities in southern Israel’s Arava region, near Eilat.

The location and holding capacity of the new tent cities are unknown.

Israel has tried out a number of different strategies designed to curb the phenomenon of illegal infiltration by African migrants since 2007, when the number of African migrants arriving in Israel spiked (to 5,000, as compared to 1,000 in 2006).

In that year, the Saharonim facility, a detention center for African migrants entering Israel through its border with Egypt, was opened. Migrants arriving at the facility went through a process of registration and identification, and given a medical exam.

For more, go to

Written by


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Israel's Battle With Illegal African Immigrants

Thank you!

This article has been sent!