(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Sunday), 1 July 2007, held an additional discussion regarding ways to deal with infiltration into Israel via the Egyptian border.
Prime Minister Olmert updated those present on his understanding with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, according to which Egypt will receive back infiltrators who cross the common border as well as all those who cross it in the future, and will work to prevent future infiltrations from its territory.
Interior Minister Ronnie Bar-On, who chaired an inter-ministerial team on the issue, presented his committee’s recommendations. Representatives from the Foreign and Public Security ministries, the IDF, the ISA, he Israel Police, the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Israeli delegation to the UNHCR presented data on the scope of the problem.
It was agreed that the IDF would act to apprehend infiltrators and quickly return them to Egypt via the border crossings, while accepting Egyptian assurances regarding their safety. In certain cases, in which their immediate return is impossible, the infiltrators will be handed over to the Immigration Police and detained until they can be returned to their country of origin.
Regarding infiltrators already present in Israel, it was decided that the Interior and Defense ministries would – along with the UNHCR – compile a list of their names and countries of origin in order to work towards returning them to Egypt. Similarly, the possibility will be considered of assisting a small portion of the refugees from Darfur who are in Israel only after the full blocking of infiltrations is assured.
Prime Minister Olmert instructed the Foreign Ministry to formulate a plan to assist Darfur refugees in the various African refugee camps and to submit it for Cabinet approval. He also instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare an information campaign regarding Israel’s humanitarian assistance to Darfur refugees as well as the various aspects of the infiltration issue.
Prime Minister Olmert ordered the heads of the security establishment to present him – within 30 days – with a plan for constructing a barrier on the Egyptian border, in keeping with previous Government decisions on the issue.
Prime Minister Olmert will hold a further discussion in order to assess the implementation of the foregoing.