Netanyahu: Israel Will Keep Deporting 'Infiltrators', Eritrea-Ethiopia Peace Treaty Will Help Accelerate Expulsion

Netanyahu boasts of setting up a border fence to keep migrants away, says that despite left-wing organizations' appeal deportation will continue

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gesturing during a news conference in Jerusalem on October 9, 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gesturing during a news conference in Jerusalem on October 9, 2018.Credit: \ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel will continue deporting migrants who illegally enter Israel.

"The peace treaty that was recently signed between Ethiopia and Eritrea can accelerate the continuation of the removal of infiltrators from Israel," the prime minister said while speaking at a Likud conference in Tel Aviv.

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"If I hadn't acted to build the fence [along Israel's border with Egypt] a million infilitrators would have reached Israel in less than a decade. Whoever opposed the erection of the fence at the time was opposing the existence of a Jewish and democratic state," Netanyahu said at the rally in support of his party.

"We are fighting and struggling against a legal interpretation that exists because of left-wing organizations' appeals which delay the deportation," the premier added.

Netanyahu also called on attendants to vote for the Likud.

During the conference, the prime minister addressed a particular activist, a south Tel Aviv resident named May Golan who led a social movement in favor of the deportation of migrants from Israel, and told her that he was aware of her statements in favor of deportation.

While Netanyahu spoke, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the conference. Protesters rallied against government corruption and legislation against Israel's LGBTQ community.

>> Clear majority of Israelis oppose accepting refugees, poll says

Ealier on Tuesday, Haaretz reported that Israel has lifted the special protection given to Congolese migrants living in Israel, paving the path for the deportation of hundreds.

The Interior Ministry's Population and Immigration Authority has lifted a temporary ban that protected Congolese nationals residing in Israel from deportation and has given citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo 90 days to leave the country.

The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, an organization devoted to refugees' rights in Israel, said no announcement was issued to the Congolese community in the country. There are hundreds of asylum seekers in Israel from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was known as Zaire under a military dictatorship in 1971-1997.

On Sunday, Interior Minister Arye Dery made the policy change after the Foreign Ministry determined that there was nothing preventing sending back migrants to the DRC. Officials at the Population and Immigration Ministry said that individuals from the DRC in Israel should make preparations to leave the country within 90 days, meaning no later than January 5, 2019.

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