JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has stopped the infiltration of illegal African migrants, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu said Sunday at the regular Cabinet meeting that Israel will focus now on repatriating the illegal migrants already in the country.
Some 54 infiltrators crossed into Israel from Egypt last month and were placed in detention, the prime minister said at the meeting. Six months ago, at least 1,000 illegal migrants were entering Israel each month.
"On the basis of these figures, one may explicitly say that we have blocked infiltration and now we must focus — and we are doing so –– on repatriating the infiltrators who are already in Israel," Netanyahu said.
More than 60,000 illegal African migrants are believed to be in Israel. Some are refugees, but most are economic migrants seeking jobs.