"The infiltrators realize that they can enter Israel illegally and enjoy full freedom," said an official at the Population and Immigration Authority on Wednesday, in response to the delayed construction of a detention facility designed to hold infiltrators in the south of the county.
According to the Authority's data, some 2,000 infiltrators crossed into Israel in the month of August, out of which 111 illegally entered Israel just on Tuesday night. The infiltrators include asylum seekers and immigrants looking for employment.
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"National action is needed to find an immediate solution to the problem, before the State has no control over the situation," said the official, who slammed the Defense and Interior Security Ministries for dragging their feet.
"Building the detention facility is essential, and they have not been implementing the government's decision," he noted.
Refugees on Egypt border (Photo: Reuters)
In November 2010, the government decided to construct a holding facility near Ketziot, which human rights organizations working with refugees called "a prison facility for all intended purposes."
The facility is designed to hold some 8,000 infiltrators for a period of up to three years, and will be operated by the Israel Prison Service. The Defense Ministry was tasked with its construction and it was scheduled to begin operating in July.
"The delay in the construction of the holding facility will lead to some 50,000 infiltrators who will tell their families in Africa that they get pampering treatment in Israel," MK Yaakov Katz (National Union) told Ynet.
Meanwhile, a Defense Ministry official said that if the Population and Immigration Authority would have acted to implement the government's decision at the same speed that the ministry is building the security fence – the infiltration problem would have been diminished.
The Interior Security Ministry stated in response: "In accordance with the government's decision, the Interior Security Ministry and the Finance Ministry agreed on constructing the facility and adding 1,000 more spaces for infiltrators. The Israel Prison Service is working on building the said facility, and it is expected to begin operations in a few months."
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