Following the announcement earlier this week that Bnei Brak has been designated as a “green city,” the city of Tel Aviv recorded a higher number of active coronavirus cases on Thursday than Bnei Brak.
Tel Aviv recorded 552 active coronavirus cases on Thursday morning and Bnei Brak confirmed 530 cases. The Health Ministry confirmed 668 new coronavirus cases nationwide, with test results reflecting a positivity rate of 2.1%, the lowest since June. There are 464 seriously ill patients, of whom 199 are ventilated. The death toll has risen to 2,494.
At the beginning of Israel’s second wave, Tel Aviv suffered from a high infection rate, with virus cases in the city double the national rate in mid-June. One particular hotspot was among illegal infiltrators in south Tel Aviv, although those cases only accounted for about a third of the city’s cases. Municipal workers launched a virus information campaign in south Tel Aviv, including setting up a coronavirus testing station in the area. Since then, the virus rate in the city has decreased.
On a related note, the normalization deal between Israel and Sudan may lead the way for Israel to deport thousands of Sudanese illegal infiltrators, according to an Army Radio report this week.
There are tens of thousands of foreign workers living in Israel, many of whom are illegal infiltrators from Eritrea and Sudan. According to the report, the Sudanese government has agreed to accept a large number of Sudanese citizens. To date, Israel had no means of deporting Sudanese infiltrators due to the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The report has sparked much debate in Israel, with the refugee situation already a hot issue in Israeli politics, with some claiming that the Sudanese infiltrators’ lives will be endangered if they are sent back to Sudan and others claiming that it is safe to send them back.
While there are some truly dangerous areas in Sudan, such as war-torn Darfur, the Blue Nile region, and the Nuba mountains, many of the infiltrators are not from that area.
“The argument regarding the danger of returning most of the Sudanese infiltrators is not that they are refugees or that their lives will be endangered, but that we have no ties with Sudan,” the director of the Center for Immigration Policy in Israel, Yonatan Yaakobovich, said in an interview with Arutz Sheva. “They claim that they will be punished for entering Israel, which is considered an enemy state. These claims are no longer relevant.”
“When the infiltrators say they don’t want to return, it has to be taken with a grain of salt, as well as what the aid organizations say – who even campaigned against returning infiltrators to the Philippines. They’ll definitely oppose a return to Sudan. They also opposed the transfer to Rwanda, where the EU countries also transferred people.”
Yaakobovich added that the aid organizations also claim that Uganda is a dangerous country, despite the fact that the UN designates both Rwanda and Uganda as welcoming countries.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)