Israel to put thousands of Africans in detention camp
(AFP) JERUSALEM — Israel’s interior minister said on Friday he hoped to soon start moving tens of thousands of illegal African migrants from Tel Aviv and elsewhere to a detention camp being built and a planned “tent city.”
An Israeli court cleared the way on Thursday for the deportation of an estimated 1,500 South Sudanese, after ruling that their lives were no longer threatened in their homeland.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai told public radio 40,000 Sudanese and Eritreans were next in his sights.
“They are close to being expelled either willingly or against their will,” he said. “This is a number that threatens the Jewish identity.”
The rising number of Africans in Israel has hit the headlines in recent weeks, after a spike in racial tensions led to a riot in southern Tel Aviv, where tens of thousands of migrants live.
Interior ministry statistics show that approximately 60,000 African immigrants have entered Israel illegally, the vast majority of them from Sudan and Eritrea.
Some are refugees fleeing persecution in their home nations, but others are economic migrants.
“I hope that in the coming months we shall be able to move all the infiltrators to detention facilities and allow Israeli citizens in south Tel Aviv and others to live in a proper way … in quiet and security,” he added.
Israel is building a giant, hi-tech security barrier along its 240-kilometre (150-mile) border with the Egyptian Sinai.
So far 170 kilometres have been erected and the project is due to be completed later this year.
Photo: An Eritrean woman stands with her daughter outside an apartment which is home to African migrants after unknown attackers, thought to be right-wing Israelis, set it ablaze overnight in Jerusalem on July 4, 2012. (Getty Images)
I feel sick.