Netanyahu backs plan to keep asylum seekers’ detention facility open

Notice how Haaretz calls them “asylum seekers” rather than economic migrants. From what I have read a very small percentage are asylum seekers. Ted Belman

Outgoing Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar had proposed to keep Holot center open, even after High Court ordered the government to close it.

By Ilan Lior and Revital Hove, HAARETZ

Asylum seekers can be seen at Holot after a High Court ruling to close the facility within 90 days,
Asylum seekers at Holot after a High Court ruling to close the facility within 90 days, Sept. 22, 2014. Photo by Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday backed his interior minister, Gideon Sa’ar, who called for keeping the Holot detention facility for asylum seekers open, despite a High Court of Justice order to close it.

In the wake of the court ruling. Netanyahu Tuesday afternoon met with Sa’ar, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonvitch, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, and other officials in an effort to formulate a third version of the Anti-Infiltration Law.

After the meeting, Netanyahu said he wanted the new bill to “express the government’s determination to act against illegal infiltration, a determination that has stopped infiltration into Israel and prompted the exit of 6,000 infiltrators so far.”

On September 22, the High Court gave the government 90 days to close Holot, sharply criticizing the conditions there.

The court also overturned another provision of the same law that enabled the government to hold asylum seekers who entered Israel illegally in a closed facility for as long as a year.

Israeli authorities will now be permitted to detain illegal migrants for as long as 60 days, as stipulated by the Entry into Israel Law.

October 7, 2014 | 2 Comments »

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  1. Netanyahu is defying the court because pro-Likud voters in South Tel Aviv have already abandoned the party in droves.

    And a showdown with the court is preferable to losing more votes. Its a popular stand and if the Supreme Court wants to enforce its decision, it will have to order the police to do it.

    Good luck with it.