Some 33 of the detainees sought to leave the country willingly, while 40 are expected to go through the deportation process.
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The operation's first day saw 115 migrants detained in nationwide Immigration Authority sweeps.
African migrants in Tel Aviv (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
The Population and Immigration Authority's force's latest operation, meant to detain illegal migrants ahead of their deportation, was made possible after the Jerusalem Administrative Court granted the State's request to suspend the "collective protection" status granted to south Sudanese migrants in Israel, effectively sanctioning the deportation of nearly 1,500 migrants.
According to the Immigration Authority, over 55 foreigners – from south Sudan, Nigeria, China, Ghana and the Ivory Coast – were detained in the first hours of the sweep.
Various aid organizations confirmed that they were informed of multiple detentions.
Some 64 migrants that are set for deportation have been received at the Givon, Ketziot and Saharonim prisons so far. The migrants caught in central Israel are sent to the Givon prison in Ramle those caught in the south are transferred to tents at the Ketziot prison and the women and children were taken in to the Saharonim facility.
The Prison Service stressed that they are prepared to receive 3,000 people within the framework of the current operation yet they estimated that the number of detainees would not reach the maximum number as some infiltrators would be deported, making room for new detainees.
On Monday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai defended the operation, saying it was "meant to preserve the Zionist and Jewish nature of the State of Israel."
Some willingly leaving country (Photo: Eliad Levi)
Yishai added that the operation's primary goal was "to return the infiltrators from Eritrea and south Sudan to their countries, despite the difficulties mounted by the so-called human rights groups.
"What we witnessed today was just the beginning of the battle for the future of Israel. I'm certain that the court will also sanction the deportation of infiltrators from Eritrea and Sudan, who pose the main threat," he said.
The Immigration Authority said the operation to arrest the 1,500 South Sudanese migrants will continue in the coming weeks. Some 60,000 illegal immigrants currently reside in Israel, including 35,000 Eritreans and 15,000 Sudanese nationals.
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