Minister of Interior Affairs Eli Yishai
Minister of Interior Affairs Eli Yishai Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
Text size

Interior minister Eli Yishai responded Saturday to a letter sent to him by Sara Netanyahu urging him to stop the deportation of 400 children of illegal migrant workers, saying that she should talk to the interministerial committee responsible for the issue.

"Yishai has mentioned in the past that there is a committee headed by him which was erected to deal with irregular cases, and if Mrs. Netanyahu knows of these types of cases then she should talk to the committee," sources close to Yishai said after he met with the prime minister's wife on Saturday.

In response to the interior ministry statement, sources in the Prime Minister's Office said that Mrs. Netanyahu hoped that Yishai would show leniency to the children of migrant workers, in the tradition of the school of thought of the Jewish sage Hillel.

Yishai and Sara Netanyahu met on Saturday, a day after she sent him a personal letter asking that he allow the children of illegal foreign workers to remain in Israel.

"I turn to you as the mother of two sons and as a psychologist," Sara Netanyahu wrote. "I ask from the bottom of my heart that you use your authority to allow a vast majority of the remaining 400 children to remain in Israel. This issue is very close to my heart."

Netanyahu added that she has brought up the matter with her husband on numerous occasions in recent months.

Two weeks ago, the government approved a plan that would allow 800 of the approximately 1,200 children of illegal foreign workers to remain in Israel. The remaining 400 children face deportation.