Israel frees up funds to block African migrants

Posted December 11, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Events ~ 3,239 views


JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s government approved on Sunday a $167 million plan to try to stem the flow of African migrants who cross into the country through its porous border with Egypt.

Announcing the government’s intention to raise fines for employers who hire illegal workers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “If necessary, we will close businesses so that the enterprise called the State of Israel will not shut down.”

Netanyahu said he would visit Africa soon where among other issues he will discuss the repatriation of migrants. Political sources said he was likely to travel in February to Kenya, Uganda and possibly South Sudan.

Israeli government figures put the number of illegal workers in Israel at more than 52,000.

Many of the migrants come from Eritrea and Sudan and cross into Israel from Egypt’s Sinai desert. Israel is building a fence along its frontier with Egypt to try to block the migrants and prevent infiltration by Islamist militants.

The plan, which includes the construction of detention facilities for migrants, was first announced a year ago and Sunday’s cabinet decision freed up government funds to implement it.

“Without a plan to deal with illegal workers, the number of migrants will rise to 100,000 a year,” Netanyahu was quoted by a government statement as telling the cabinet.

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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