The Population, Immigration and Border Authority will begin shutting down businesses that employ illegal work infiltrators, a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office said on Sunday.
During a special discussion convened Sunday evening by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the issue of illegal migrants in Israel, Defense Ministry Deputy Director-General Betzalel Treiber briefed participants on the progress of the security fence being built in the south and said that in the coming month, some 4,000 places in detention centers would be added and that more than 12,000 places would be available by the end of the year.
Among those who participated in the discussion were Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, Israel Police Deputy Inspector-General Yisrael Yitzhak, Israel Prison Service Commissioner Aharon Franco and other senior police officers and Defense, Finance, Interior and Justice Ministry representatives.
The participants were presented with up-to-date data on the illegal immigrants. Eleven infiltrators were detained in Israel this past weekend and 129 since the beginning of the month. All were being held at the Saharonim facility in the south, pursuant to the new infiltrator law, which allows detention for up to three years. In May, 2,031 infiltrators were detained, followed by 928 infiltrators in June. This suggested the number of infiltrators crossing the border had decreased. In June last year, 1213 infiltrators crossed the border.
Treiber said the 200 kilometer security fence being constructed in the south would be completed by October, save for a 14-kilometer section around Eilat which will be completed by the start of next year.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Netanyahu commended the work being carried out and said, "The government's determined action is already showing results on the ground. There is still much work to do but we are on the right track."
Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry issued a memo on Sunday on the Prevention of Infiltration Law, in which it proposed to ban infiltrators from sending money abroad for themselves or for others. The penalty leveled on infiltrators who transfer money abroad will be six months' imprisonment or a fine of NIS 29,200, and the punishment for anyone who help the infiltrators will be a year in jail.
The memo stressed that infiltrators who choose to leave Israel will be able to take with them all the money they had earned. The penalties will not be imposed on those who are recognized as refugees by the state.
"The amount of money transferred by African migrants to their families around the world is estimated to be billions of dollars each year, amounts which are a significant part of the economies of the host countries. As such, reducing the economic incentive to infiltrate is an effective tool in dealing with infiltration," the Justice Ministry noted on Sunday.
In related news, a plane is expected to take off this week from Israel carrying South Sudanese infiltrators back to their home country. By the end of the month, it is believed that all South Sudanese infiltrators in Israel will have been sent back. Next week, the immigration authority and police will begin arresting infiltrators from the Ivory Coast, leading to their eventual deportation.