(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Sunday), 24 February 2008, directed the Interior Ministry, the Public Security Ministry and the Immigration Police to remove from Israel by the coming weekend those illegal infiltrators who entered via the Egyptian border and against whom there are no legal restrictions regarding their deportation.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On, Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, Social Welfare and Social Services Minister Yitzhak Herzog, Education Minister Yuli Tamir, Health Minister Ya’acov Ben Yizri and other professional representatives discussed the phenomenon of infiltrators entering Israel via the Egyptian border, and ways of preventing this.

Prime Minister Olmert ordered security officials to tighten supervision of the Egyptian border and instructed that infiltrators be transferred to detention centers. The Prime Minister also directed the reinforcement of the personnel who question infiltrators in order to expedite their processing and instructed the Foreign Ministry to examine whether or not there are countries to which the infiltrators may be returned safely.

Prime Minister Olmert instructed Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Ra’anan Dinur to present a daily progress report and to convene a meeting in approximately three weeks in order to evaluate progress on the issue.