The African refugees in Israel should be rounded up in prisons or holding facilities and then deported from the country, Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) said in a radio interview on Wednesday morning. “They should be put into holding cells or jails,” he said, “and then given a grant and sent back” to their countries of origin. His remarks came the morning after police arrested four Eritrean and Sudanese men on suspicion of raping a woman in south Tel Aviv. South Tel Aviv has a high concentration of Africans, most of whom are refugees.
MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) condemned Yishai’s comments, calling them incitement and racism – not befitting a democracy. Putting illegal entrants in jail would be undemocratic, said Khenin. “I was very sorry to hear what the Minister of the Interior said… We need to deal harshly with a few criminals, but we also need to provide solutions for the majority those who aren’t criminals,” he said.
Refugees hold Matzoth (unleavened bread) during an event marking the Jewish holiday of Passover in Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv, April 4. 2012 (Photo: Activestills)