The High Court of Justice on Monday, 12 Tishrei 5774 ruled that the state may not imprison illegals who infiltrated into Israel without charging them with a crime and placing them on trial. The decision circumvented a Knesset amendment of the law permitting the detention of Sudanese, Eritrean and other African illegals until a solution can be found.
Shas MK Eli Yishai had angry words in an interview with Israel Radio on Tuesday, explaining the court is out of touch and he recommends that justices and others fighting for the rights of the Sudanese illegals to “take one home to their own area and then talk to me”. Yishai stated the illegals have destroyed southern Tel Aviv with their crime and unacceptable life style and vows to continue efforts to bypass the High Court and address the problem. He makes no apologies for his position for he explains his first loyalty is to the citizens of Israel and the State of Israel, not to the infiltrators. Yishai explained one may not like it but the reality is these people have brought crime; violence and an unwanted life style to southern Tel Aviv and this cannot be tolerated.
Likud activists protests outside a Tel Aviv courthouse on Tuesday decrying the decision, accusing the High Court of destroying what remains of southern Tel Aviv.
Most of the illegals in detention are from Sudan and Eritrea. The state was given 90 days to examine the ruling, during which time it is expected that most of the detained illegals will be released. This pertains to about 1,750 illegals currently being held by authorities. The nine justice panel of the court ruled unanimously in the case basing their decision on the Basic Law which guarantees all “people” basic freedoms. Experts point out the law refers to “people” and not just “citizens” and therefore, the illegals cannot be held administratively as is the case today.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni explained she understands the court’s ruling and that fact that the policy has been ruled illegal compels her and her colleagues to find another solution. She added the problem facing southern Tel Aviv is a real one that mustn’t be ignored and it must be addressed. Livni stated “most of them are not refugees as they wish us to believe” and therefore, many or most will have to be sent out of the country. “If there is no solution we will have to find one. There is the issue of addressing the border and preventing infiltrations and then the matter of how we deal with those already in the country.”
Knesset Interior Committee Chairwoman MK Miri Regev stated the court’s decision “Is the Garden of Eden for the infiltrators and hell for southern Tel Aviv residents.” She is calling for an immediate bill to neutralize the court’s ruling to keep the infiltrators behind bars.
In his response to the court’s ruling, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated
“I am determined to continue to lead the government’s actions in dealing with the phenomenon of illegal migration.
“At a time when many countries in the world are dealing with the phenomenon of illegal migration, we have blocked it and last month not even a single illegal migrant crossed our southern border. This result was achieved thanks to the variety of measures we have enacted including the construction of a fence on the southern border.
“Alongside honoring the decision of the High Court of Justice, I, in cooperation with the Interior Minister and the Attorney General, intend to find ways that are in keeping with the decision and which will allow the implementation of our determined policy which has blocked illegal migration and has already repatriated thousands of illegal migrants.”
One may expect MKs to now introduce bills seeking to circumvent the court’s ruling in the ongoing power struggle between the legislators and the judicial system.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)