Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) announced on her Facebook page Tuesday that she is planning to convene an emergency discussion about the infiltrator problem with Interior Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
The reason for the discussion is a recent uptick in the number of infiltrators who entered Israel illegally from its southern border.
"The dozens of infiltrators who infiltrated Israel in recent weeks did so by placing a ladder on the fence and jumping over it,” she wrote.
"I have been saying, over the recent years, that the fence alone will not prevent the phenomenon of infiltration – only a tough law that will cause a decline in the motivation to come here [will do that],” she added. "I have spoken about this with Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and the Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, and we agreed to meet soon and discuss the means of stopping the phenomenon.”
The Defense Ministry and the IDF recently decided to build a fence enclosing the Gaza Belt region, after both a survey of the long-term damage of Operation Protective Edge on the bloc and following two terrorist infiltrations there within a 48-hour period. However, Shaked appeared to be referring to infiltration by African job seekers, who flooded into Israel until a fence was constructed along the border with Sinai.
Illegal Infiltration into Israel through Sinai plummeted by 85% in the course of two months in the summer of 2012, according to official statistics, when construction of the fence began.
Before the government changed its policy on infiltration and began detaining some of the infiltrators, the infiltrators were escorted by the IDF from the border and then put on buses to Tel Aviv, where they were released.
This policy caused a flooding of illegal immigration that has caused a crisis in the neighborhoods where the immigrants stay. Due to a high rate of unemployment and alcohol abuse among the immigrants, life in and near these neighborhoods has become very difficult. Property value has fallen, and there is a high rate of crime, including sexual assault.
The residents have been demonstrating in anguish for years, demanding a stop to the immigration from Africa. However, the High Court has shot down several relatively tough bills that the government passed regarding infiltrators in recent years. It remains to be seen if Shaked will be able to stop this from happening again.