Internal Affairs Committee chairwoman, MK Miri Regev (Likud), harshly criticized the High Court of Justice's decision to issue an interim order to an amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law, during a tour of south Tel Aviv on Sunday, saying that "the High Court works for the infiltrators, I work for the public."
The amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law, which passed 47-23 before the Knesset dissolved, determines that asylum seekers who enter Israel after the amendment comes into effect will be detained for three months at the Saharonim detention facility and from there moved to the Holot detention center for a period of 20 months.
The High Court's order was issued following a petition against the amendment by human rights organizations. The order forbids the state from summoning the new asylum seekers to Soharsanim until the court rules on the petition.
In practice, this means the Holot detention facility would have to close in the middle of January.
The state said in response to the order that "the petition will block the Knesset's ability to give the government the tools to continuously deal with the significant and difficult consequences of the illegal infiltration phenomenon on Israeli society and economy."
Regev, who promoted the amendment to the law, said that "it could not be that the High Court interferes with a Knesset law while the Knesset and government have been dissolved and we're in elections period.
"The court has to listen to the Israeli public and must stop being disconnected from the people. I call on the High Court to postpone the discussion on immigration to after the elections and withdraw the interim order."
At the end of her tour of south Tel Aviv, where many of the African asylum seekers have congregated, Regev said: "One picture is worth a thousand words. It can't be that the residents of south Tel Aviv have turned into refugees at the heart of our country. The sights I saw in south Tel Aviv today are difficult; I embrace the residents of south Tel Aviv and understand their distress. I will continue working on the issue until I can bring to efficient and effective legislation."