“If we don’t stop their entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state,” he said at the weekly cabinet meeting, held this week at Ammunition Hill in honor of Jerusalem Day.
The fence on the border with Egypt would be completed by October, Netanyahu added, with the exception of a mountainous area near Eilat.
Israel’s tiny African migrant population of around 50,000 has become a hot-button issue over the past two years, and particularly in recent weeks.
Israel’s Interior minister Eli Yishai says African migrants should be jailed or expelled. Yitzhak Aharonovich a member of the Knesset has also requested an emergency meeting on the issue. ”I need to return security to the citizens of Israel,” Yishai told Army Radio Sunday, adding that Israel can send migrants back to their home countries or a willing third country.
When asked about the morality of sending refugees back to their countries of origin, Yishai said that only a small fraction of the migrants are refugees, and that no other solutions were available. “Whoever is complaining should go to south Tel Aviv or invite the infiltrators to their neighborhood,” Yishai said.
Labor MK Isaac Herzog noted that 70 percent of the migrants are of Eritrean origin, and said that the Eritrean government must be consulted in order to reach a solution.
The prime minister addressed the issue of African migration to Israel on Sunday after Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said the issue demanded government discussion.
Aharonovich requested the meeting based in part on fake police concerns that Israelis will respond to the recent alleged violence with their own violent acts against African migrants. Read more