Sometimes necessary to ignore UN’s position on illegal African migrants

The Sofer Committee, established by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, says Israeli laws prohibiting the hiring of illegal African migrants should be enforced & recommends economic incentives, that could be offered to facilitate their return to their countries of origin or even go to a 3rd country.

By Yori Yalon & Israel Hayom Staff


The Sofer Committee, which was established by Interior Minister Eli Yishai on the issue of African migrants illegally living in Israel, presented its recommendations at a press conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday. The committee said Israel should monitor the situations in the home countries of the migrants and not always abide by the United Nations’ positions on economic migrants and asylum seekers.

A special panel calls for more incentives to ecnourage the return of illegal African migrants who cross into Israel. – Photo: Reuters

The committee said Israel should study the routes taken by migrants to Israel to see if there are ways to stem the flow there, and recommended that Israeli officials visit Sudan and Eritrea to monitor conditions there and see if migrants could be deported back there.

The committee called for the enforcement of laws that prohibit the hiring of illegal migrants and said economic incentives should be offered to encourage them to return to their countries of origin or go to a third country.

The committee also called for a policy to deal with the human rights groups that wait for the migrants on the Israeli side of the border with Egypt.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai.  – Photo: Lior Mizrahi

“[The Sofer] Committee was meant to provide an organized doctrine for dealing with infiltrators and removing the threat to the character of the State of Israel,” Yishai said.

It is believed that there are somewhere around 60,000 African migrants in Israel who entered illegally. The inflow of illegal migrants from Africa has been almost completely cut off in recent months due to the construction of a fence along the length of the border with Egypt.


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