Israel’s interior minister called for a cap on admitting Sudanese refugees.
Meir Sheetrit said Wednesday that what was once a trickle of Sudanese crossing illegally into Israel through neighboring Egypt has now become a deluge.
“A year ago we had 300 people coming here from Sudan through Egypt,” Sheetrit told The Jerusalem Post. “Today we have 300 a week and, in my opinion, if we don’t stop it now, we will reach 3,000 a week.”
Many of the Sudanese have appealed to Israel’s sense of post-Holocaust humanitarian responsibility given the genocide in Darfur. But Sheetrit said that only around 300 of the migrants are indeed from the war-wracked region, with the rest coming in search of jobs.
“Israel can’t take in hundreds of thousands of people,” Sheetrit said. “As a Jewish state, Israel should take in a quota of people from Darfur, care for them and help them find jobs – like we have done for other groups of refugees in the past.”