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Photo: Haim Zach/GPO
PM opens new panel on illegal migrants, vows to 'remove as many as possible'
As new ministerial committee convenes for first time to discuss measures designed to bypass court prohibition of detaining illegal migrants for more than 60 days, Netanyahu says 'they have no right to be here, they don't need to be here.'
A new ministerial committee headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened for the first time Thursday evening to discuss strategies enabling the government to bring about the forced deportation of illegal migrants, despite a recent High Court decision rendering the policy de facto impracticable.

 

 

According to the ruling, illegal migrants may only be held in a detention facility for a period of 60 days, essentially stripping authorities of methods for soliciting consent for deportation.

 

Speaking at the meeting, in which senior ministers participated, along with residents of south Tel Aviv—the area most notably affected by the wave of illegal migrants—Netanyahu delineated the committee’s raison d'etre.

 

PM Netanyahu opens new committee (Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)
PM Netanyahu opens new committee (Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)

 

“We are here to meet every few weeks in order to ease the problems facing the residents of south Tel Aviv and other areas in Israel as a result of the problem of illegal infiltrators,” Netanyahu said in his opening remarks.

 

“Our first and central goal is to remove as many of them from the State of Israel as possible. They have no right to be here. They don’t need to be here, and with our joint efforts a large portion of them won’t be,” he continued.

 

“We will also speak about other things but this is the first task, and I am pleased to see you all here,” he told the south Tel Aviv residents, many of whom for years have beseeched the government to stem the tide of illegal migration that has engulfed the area.

 

PM during visit to south Tel Aviv (Photo: Shaul Golan) (Photo: Shaul Golan)
PM during visit to south Tel Aviv (Photo: Shaul Golan)

 

Referencing the recent visit he paid to south Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said he was impressed with the people who “are still clinging by their fingernails to the area despite their distress,” adding that there were steps that could be taken to allay the residents’ grievances.

 

“After the public tour of the area during the day I toured the area night which was unpublicized with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri,” Netanyahu told the residents.

 

“We went through all the streets, all the neighborhoods ... and we understood the situation and now we need to discuss together the solutions,” he added, while reminding the residents that removing all migrants would not be an attainable or feasible goal.

 

“We won’t be able to remove them all but we have already removed almost 20,000. We will need to continue this process with a similar number or perhaps even more.”

 

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