Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Knesset Approves Infiltration Law

Elad Benari

The Knesset approved late Monday night the law that would prevent infiltrations into Israel, Channel 2 News reported.

The law allows for the arrest and detention of infiltrators for a period of three years. It also includes a provision that permits imposing a life sentence on any infiltrator convicted of property related crimes. Another provision in the law allows for punishment of five to 15 years for anyone convicted of helping infiltrators.

Channel 2 reported that 37 MKs supported the proposal and eight MKs opposed it. During the debate, objections were presented by MKs from the Meretz and Hadash parties. The objections were rejected. The legislation is part of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan for dealing with illegal work infiltrators. The plan also calls for the completion of the Egypt-Eilat border fence using a budget of 280 million shekels being allocated for this purpose, as well as the expansion of the Saharonim facility at Ketziot, where infiltrators are being held, from 2,200 places to 5,500.

Recent statistics showed that infiltrations of Africans into Israel reached a dizzying pace. The infiltrations grow month by month, but the Population and Immigration Authority has said that it cannot prevent the infiltrators from going to urban areas and being employed illegally, because they do not have a facility in which to keep them until possible deportation. Tens of thousands have remained in Israel, which often does not deport them and instead allows them to remain in the country.

The Population and Immigration Authority said last week that 2,931 people entered Israel illegally through its border with Egypt in December, a record number.

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