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Illegal immigration from Africa to Israel.

Illegal immigration from Africa to Israel.
Illegal immigration from Africa to Israel (often also called Infiltration from Africa to Israel in the Israeli media [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] and the Israeli government [6] [7] [8]) - the name of the phenomenon, which began in the second half of the 2000s, when a large number of illegal immigrants from Africa began to arrive illegally in Israel, mainly across the border with Egypt. According to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, the number of such illegal immigrants as of April 2013 was 59 858 people [9]. The flow of immigration ceased almost completely after the completion of the construction of the fence on the border with Egypt in 2012 [10] [11].
Many of the illegal immigrants are trying to obtain refugee status, in accordance with the Convention on the Status of Refugees of the United Nations. Only a small fraction of all illegal immigrants actually have the right to receive this status. [12] However, many of them, mostly citizens of Eritrea and Sudan, can not be forcibly deported from Israel. Citizens of Eritrea (who, since 2009, constitute the majority of illegal immigrants in Israel) can not be deported, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, since Eritrea has a difficult internal situation with forced life-long recruitment into the army where forced labor is used [13] and therefore the Eritrean immigrants receive the status of "temporary humanitarian protection group". Despite the fact that such an opinion does not exist with regard to Sudanese citizens, Israel does not deport them back to Egypt because of real fear for their fate [14]. Although immigrants come to Israel from Egypt, Israel can not deport them back to Egypt, because the Egyptians refuse to pledge not to expel immigrants to their countries of origin. Thus, the Israeli authorities provide a temporary residence permit for illegal immigrants, which must be updated every three months. According to various authorities' estimates, 80 to 90 percent of illegal immigrants live in two centers: Tel Aviv (more than 60 percent of illegal immigrants) and Eilat (more than 20 percent); in addition, a certain number is in Ashdod, Jerusalem and Arad [15] [12].
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees believes that as of December 2013, there were more than 64,000 people in Israel claiming refugee status. Most come from Eritrea and Sudan. About 10% are from other African countries: Somalia, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia and Chad [16].
Content.
In recent decades, many migrants from third world countries have made significant efforts to immigrate to developed countries in order to improve the quality of life. Often this is done in violation of the immigration laws of the country of destination, for example, infiltration into the United States through the Mexican border. . Developed countries try to deal with this issue in different ways.
As in other developed countries, the phenomenon of migration exists in Israel. Until mid-2012, illegal immigrants from Africa to Israel crossed the land border between Israel and Egypt relatively easily.
The countries from which illegal immigrants arrive in Israel are experiencing serious humanitarian difficulties. Thus, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees declared Eritrea a country experiencing a humanitarian crisis. Genocide has been occurring in the Darfur region of western Sudan since 2003. As a result, many of its residents became refugees and fled to Egypt. In addition, many refugees come from southern Sudan, where the civil war continues between the predominantly Arab-Muslim inhabitants of the North and the non-Arab inhabitants of the South, Christians and animists.
In 2009, on a report [to clarify] the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Israel stated that 90% of illegal immigrants from the Sudan and Eritrea are refugees [17].
In the second half of the 2000s, there was a significant increase in the number of illegal immigrants from Africa to Israel, who crossed the Egyptian border. In 2006, about 1,000 illegal immigrants were detained, in 2007 - about 5,000, in 2008 - about 8,700, and in 2009 - about 5,000 people [18]. In the first half of 2010, the rate of illegal immigration increased even more, and over the first seven months, more than 8,000 illegal immigrants were detained. [19] . In fact, the total number of illegal immigrants is clearly greater than these figures, because many of them were not detained. The early waves of immigrants came mainly from Sudan, while in 2009 the majority of immigrants arrived from Eritrea.
In 2011, the number of immigrants continued to grow. During the first half of 2011, about 3,000 Africans arrived in Israel [20]. Only in June 623 people illegally arrived in Israel [21]. In 2013, the flow of immigration virtually ceased, due to the completion of the construction of the fence at the border with Egypt [22].
In early May 2010, the number of illegal immigrants living in Israel was estimated at 24,339 people, including 5649 from Sudan and 13 310 from Eritrean refugees who are not subject to deportation under international law. 16 766 of them received special visas ( 2 5) for asylum seekers. Officially, a visa allows them to just stay in the country, but in practice the state also allows refugees to work and does not impose fines on Israeli employers who hire them. This special visa requires updating every three months. [23]. 141 violators of the border, mainly from Ethiopia, received refugee status.
According to the operational department of the IDF in 2008, most countries from which illegal immigrants arrived are (in descending order): Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Most illegal immigrants (85%) were men. [24]
The main argument in favor of the fact that illegal immigrants are labor migrants, and not refugees, is their age composition. 94% are men between the ages of 18 and 64. For comparison: in the camps of Syrian refugees in Jordan, men of working age are only 22 percent [25].
The Knesset's Committee on Foreign Workers notes that of the 64,000 Africans in Israel who registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2011-2013, 14,000 people submitted formal petitions (about 25%). 11 thousand appeals were considered, and refugee status was granted to 24 immigrants from Africa. The rest were recognized as labor migrants [26].
According to the report of the State Comptroller published in 2014, 13% of the population of Tel Aviv are foreigners concentrated in the five southern quarters of the city, in which they make up 61% of the population; about a quarter of this number falls on illegal immigrants from Africa [27].
Penetration into Israel.
African illegal immigrants usually originally come to Egypt from their country of origin. There they often pay up to two thousand dollars to the Bedouin smugglers to transfer them across the border between Egypt and Israel [28]. There were cases of violence against women of illegal immigrants, committed by Bedouin smugglers, including rape and other humiliations. Another danger of illegal immigrants is the soldiers of the Egyptian army shooting at them to defeat them to prevent the crossing of the Egypt / Israel border [29] [30].
Employment and housing.
About 1,900 illegal immigrants are in prison (as of August 2010); the rest live and / or work in Israel. Israeli immigration departments do not continuously monitor their places of residence, but according to estimates based on data from the Israeli police, local authorities and humanitarian organizations, approximately 15,000-17,000 illegal immigrants live in Tel Aviv (especially in the south of Tel Aviv, here It also includes the number of illegal immigrants who live in Bat Yam and Bnei Brak), from 4000 to 6000 in Eilat, from 500 to 2000 Ashdod and from 400 to 600 in Arad [19]. Many of them work in hotels, especially in Eilat.
In Israel, there are several organizations focused on helping illegal immigrants in Israel. In some cases, organizations compare refugees from African countries with the Holocaust. Assistance organizations participated in the discussions held by the Knesset on committees on this issue and filed a petition against measures taken by the state to stop infiltration. Here are some of these organizations:
[31] ASSAF - Refugee Assistance Organization [32] Maginim al Zuhout Adam [33] Kav LaOved [34] "Hot Line" for Foreign Workers [35] Organization of Assistance to Refugees from Darfur [36] "The New Fund of Israel" [37]
In October 2011, the Knesset Research Center reported that the number of criminal cases brought against illegal immigrants is relatively small in number, compared to the statistics of the general population in their places of residence. According to the Israel Police Department, the crimes of immigrants are characterized primarily by internal sectoral crimes, without the use of weapons, and illegal immigrants are generally not interested in complaining to the police, possibly because of fear of deportation. [19] Nevertheless, according to official statistics, in 2006-2010, "Crime among Israelis decreased by 17.6%, and among infiltrants from Africa increased by 68%" [38].
In May 2012, after an increase in the number of crimes committed by illegal migrants [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45], police were forced to strengthen the protection of the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv; In areas where illegal immigrants live in large numbers, it is also planned to patrol the border guard forces [46] [47].
Professor Haifa University, Arnon Sofer, expressed his opposition to the phenomenon of illegal immigration from Africa for a number of reasons - from a security perspective, immigrants can be informers or agents of hostile states and terrorist organizations [48] [49]. From the social point of view, they contribute to the increase in urban overcrowding and the growth of crime. From the demographic point of view, the gradual increase in the number of illegal immigrants represents a demographic threat to the Jewish majority. According to Sofer, if you do not stop illegal immigration waves at an early stage, this will lead to a much larger wave of illegal immigration in the future [24].
In Israeli cities, where a large number of illegal African immigrants live, there is resistance of the local population to this phenomenon [50]. In mid-2010, a demonstration was held in Eilat against the inaction of the Israeli government. Residents claimed that they are now afraid to go out in certain areas at night. [51] In the southern Tel Aviv areas of Shapira and Kiryat Shalom, several real estate agents said they intended not to rent apartments to illegal immigrants. [52].
In May 2012, amid a surge in crime from immigrants from Africa [39] [40] [42] [43] [46] [44] [47] [45], mass demonstrations were held in Tel Aviv and other cities of Israel against "the dominance of illegal immigrants from Africa". The rallies were attended by members of the Knesset from the Likud and Kadima parties [41] [53] [54] [55]. Demonstrations turned into riots and attacks on illegal workers. [56].
On the other hand, demonstrations, rallies and other measures to support refugees are also regularly held [58] [59].
In January 2012, a representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced the beginning of dissemination among illegal aliens from Southern Sudan explanatory leaflets with a proposal to leave the territory of Israel in the next two months (until March 31, 2012). Those who would agree to a voluntary return were offered a cash gift of 1000 euros. [60] In June 2012, the Government of Israel began the deportation of people from Southern Sudan to their homeland, including, and on the above conditions [61] [62]. At this point, the Immigration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Israel submitted 500 requests from illegal aliens from Southern Sudan to return voluntarily to their homeland [63].
In response to the law on the prevention of illegal immigration on Sunday, January 5, 2014, a strike began. Working African migrants left their jobs and took part in a mass demonstration in Rabin Square. January 6, 2014 thousands of immigrants from Africa marched along the central streets of Tel Aviv to the embassies of foreign countries. The strikers headed towards the embassies of Romania, Sweden, Italy, Canada, Britain, France, as well as the offices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. All illegally crossed the Israeli-Egyptian border demanded to recognize themselves as refugees, to obtain the right to work in Israel. They opposed the Israeli migration policy and called on the international community to intervene. Mass demonstrations continued on January 7 [64] [65] [66] [67] [68].
On January 13, 2014, the organizers of the demonstration announced the termination of the action. They were forced to admit that they could not achieve anything: the government's position remained unchanged [37].
Reaction to strike.
According to the journalist Yehuda Iftah of the Maariv newspaper, Africans who went to the demonstration are sent to international organizations that help illegal immigrants; the demand of the demonstrators is addressed primarily to the United Nations, so that it intervenes and compels Israel to grant them refugee status, which in the future allows for citizenship [69].
According to human rights defenders, the issue should be the granting of refugee status and a work permit: "These are international standards. Israel considers itself to be a progressive democratic country. We do not want to be like Saudi Arabia, from where foreigners are forcibly deported "[70].
In Israel today there are no refugees, and there are illegal immigrants who have entered our country in search of work. We intend to send violators of the law to the countries where they came from, and no rallies and strikes will help them,
- said on January 6, 2014 the head of the Israeli government Binyamin Netanyahu [71].
The writer David Grossman, famous for his leftist views, expressed his support for immigrants, and said that the Israeli government was pursuing an absolutely erroneous non-transparent policy [73].
In December 2012, the Knesset passed a law according to which African immigrants will move to the "open temporary detention center" Kholot in the Negev, where they are required to appear three times a day and overnight. Refugees can be kept in prison without trial and investigation for more than a year. [74] As of March 2014, about 1,600 people were held in Holoth, of which 1,100 Sudanese [75].
This law caused massive protests of immigrants [76]. The inmates organized a protest march to Jerusalem, where they were arrested and sent to a closed prison by the Saharonim. [77] The next procession was also dispersed by the police [78].
The United Nations Refugee Agency has sharply criticized the new law [79] [80]


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