The Cabinet approved a comprehensive plan to deal with illegal work infiltrators

 Cabinet communique


Israel Cabinet meeting (Reuters archive photo)

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 11 December 2011:

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

"Ten years ago, Technion Prof. Dan Shechtman discovered something that was apparently impossible, clung to it, proved it and yesterday he received world recognition, both of the scientific world and the world at large, and was the sole winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. This is a personal holiday for him and his family. It is a holiday for the Technion and it is a holiday for all of Israel. I congratulated him on your behalf yesterday. I called him before the ceremony and told him that we are all proud of him.

He placed great emphasis on innovation and creativity. Dan Shechtman coordinates a group at the Technion through which passed thousands of initiatives. I told him that the idea of initiative, innovation, and I would say, a commercial climate that encourages the development of businesses, are what characterize our Government. He told me that he explicitly praises our investment in higher education and the advancement of centers of excellence and other projects, and he feels a change in this Government, our Government. I am certain that this change will yet lead to additional Nobel laureates. Therefore, what has been, we must see to it that it will continue to be, and we are doing so. This is very important.

Second, today I will submit to the Cabinet the appointment of Dr. Evyatar Mataniah as Director of the National Cyber Directorate. Cyber has become a central component in our national security. We must provide a strong defense for the State of Israel in this field. Within this field there are aspects beyond security, which are linked to the economy and science, and the Directorate will coordinate them all. I must tell the Cabinet that Israel is at the forefront, to say the least, of cyber forces in the world and we intend to not only stay there, but to climb even higher. I am certain that Dr. Evyatar Mataniah’s appointment, who will also receive the necessary financing to  operate the Directorate, will greatly contribute to the security and future of the State of Israel.

Third, today the Cabinet will also discuss a comprehensive plan to deal with illegal work infiltrators. This is a national problem. This is a national problem in every field – the economy, society, infrastructures, social welfare and public security. We hear the cries from Israel’s communities and cities and we must see to the country. We have no obligation to accept illegal infiltrators and I separate this issue from that of dealing with refugees.

The number of refugees in this human flood is minute and we will continue to deal with refugees, war refugees and the like. But we are not talking about those here. We are talking about entire populations that are beginning to move in the direction of the State of Israel, which is very developed and very humane, and if we do not act to stop this illegal flood, we will simply be inundated. Therefore, I see this as a supreme need and not just another decision, but a decision that requires the genuine commitment of all ministries.

This was necessary in 2006 when the previous Government decided to apparently build a fence. I say ‘apparently’ because two years passed. 2008 and 2009 arrived and nothing was done. In 2009, I decided to start building the fence. Half of it has been built, approximately 100 kilometers. In today’s decisions, we will do two things: One, we will complete a section of the fence, topographically, the most difficult, in the Eilat area. We will approve an additional budget of almost NIS 600,000, with our intention being to finish the entire western fence in less than one year.

The second part is the establishment of housing and detention facilities, voluntary housing, in order to accommodate those who flee from their jobs, or who do not receive them, because we intend to greatly increase fines levied on employers. As a result of this, illegal migrants will either flee or will not be accepted, and we will know how to deal with them humanely until they are deported.

The third part, I am not submitting it to the Cabinet today but I intend to travel to Africa later to discuss and advance procedures for returning them to Africa. In any case, this is unjustified. This entire matter entails significant expenses, which I will divide equally among all Government ministries, because all ministries, all components of our national expenditures, are affected by this flood and all of them need – and, I am pleased to note, are willing – to contribute their share. Here, I would like to thank my fellow ministers. These are very important steps to ensure the future of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Lastly, I spoke with Lee Korzits who again won at the ISAF Sailing World Championships. This victory is a continuation for her. She had previously won a gold medal at the world championships. I told her that we will see her in London, at the next Olympics. I think that this is a very impressive achievement for Israeli sports. We have a Nobel Prize in the sciences and a Nobel Prize in sailing."

2. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law, the Cabinet approved the appointment of Eliyahu Tesman as Ambassador to Kazakhstan, in place of Yisrael Mei-Ami, who is concluding his duties.

3. The Cabinet approved the following Foreign Service appointments:

  • Eliyahu Yerushalmi as Ambassador to Ecuador;
  • Isaac Bachman as Ambassador to Sweden;
  • Yuval Fuchs as Ambassador to Georgia;
  • Dan Stav as Ambassador to Uzbekistan;
  • Eviatar Manor as Ambassador to the UN (Geneva);
  • Zion Evrony as Ambassador to the Holy See; 
  • Bahig Mansour as Ambassador to Nigeria;
  • Yoram Elron as non-resident Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Gabon and Madagascar;
  • Meirav Eilon Shahar as Ambassador to Vietnam;
  • Dorit Shavit as Ambassador to Argentina;
  • Hagay-Moshe Behar as Ambassador to Myanmar;
  • Andy David as Consul-General in San Francisco;
  • Shmuel Ben-Shmuel as Consul-General in Chicago;
  • David Schneeweiss as Consul-General in Toronto;
  • Yaron Sideman as Consul-General in Philadelphia; and
  • Yaacov Avrahamy as Consul-General in Guangzhou.

4. Pursuant to the 1972 Guard Services and Private Investigators Law (including subsequent amendments), the Cabinet transferred the Justice Minister’s authority over guard services to the Public Security Minister.

5. Pursuant to Article 53 of the 1965 Planning and Building Law, the Cabinet decided to approve a plan for increasing output at the Palmahim desalination facility.

6. The Cabinet approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to deal with illegal work infiltrators. All Government ministries will share in financing the NIS 630 million cost of the plan (2% from each ministry). The new plan’s main emphasis is on stepping up enforcement and increasing the fines levied on those who employ illegal work infiltrators. According to draft legislation that will be submitted to the Knesset, corporations that employ illegal work infiltrators may be fined NIS 75,000; certain cases may entail closing the business. The law will be amended so as to extend the detention of illegal work infiltrators from 60 days to three years.