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Israel Launches Campaign To Deter Immigrants

The border fence with Egypt, which was primarily intended to prevent the infiltration of unlawful labor migrants into Israel, is not scheduled to be completed before early 2013. Until then, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is interested in trying to deter African migrants through other means, namely a negative public relations campaign about the practicability of making the visit to Israel.

On Sunday, Netanyahu convened a large-scale forum attended by representatives from all of the relevant government ministries that deal with issues related to the unlawful labor migrants from Africa. The forum gathers every two weeks, at Netanyahu’s behest, in order to receive updates on the pace of construction of the fence and the residential facilities for the unlawful migrants, as well as diplomatic contacts with African states for their return.

In the course of the most recent session, Netanyahu directed representatives of the national information directorate, which operates under the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office, to present him by the next session with a proposal for a media campaign in those African states from which the unlawful migrants are arriving, in order to deter them from crossing the border into Israel.

Netanyahu wishes to appraise the viability of a media campaign to be launched in those states, in which it would be made clear that Israel is not an attractive target for labor migrants from Africa. One high-ranking Israeli official states that Netanyahu wants to publicize in these African states the fact that every individual who is caught infiltrating through the Egyptian border will not be permitted to work in Israel, and will be summarily transferred to a detention facility where he or she would be incarcerated for a period of up to three years.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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