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.
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