Full Text Israel Political Brief July 15, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting Discussing African Infiltrators



Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:

“I spoke a short while ago with Be’er Sheva Mayor Rubik Danilovich. He was very, very excited because today we are dedicating the high-speed rail link, and now it will be 55 minutes from Be’er Sheva to Tel Aviv and from Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva. This is down from 76 minutes and we will yet lower it to 45 minutes.

This is a revolution that we always dreamed about. We are carrying it out. It seems to me that this idea started when Silvan Shalom was Finance Minister and I am proud of the fact that we in this Government, with our energetic Transportation Minister, are realizing this, with support from the Finance Ministry. This is huge. At the same time, today we will also dedicate the high-speed line from Kiryat Gat to Tel Aviv – 32 minutes. I remind you that this takes much longer than most US and European cities, from the large cities – to go from the city center to the outskirts, than it takes today to go from central Tel Aviv to Kiryat Gat, and even to Be’er Sheva. This is a great cultural, social and national revolution that has to do with population dispersal, creating new possibilities and growth – I think that we can definitely be proud here that we are finally joining the periphery to the center, and the center to the periphery, and this has tremendous consequences, and therefore we are pleased to see the fruit of Government policy.”

Pursuant to the report that 12 infiltrators were detained over the weekend, 64 last week and 183 since the beginning of the month, the Prime Minister said:

“To compare, 1,000 infiltrators crossed last month. In May, there were 2,000. I remind you that all those who reached the border did not reach the border, sit there and wait for a ride to Tel Aviv or other localities in the State of Israel. This is not what happened. They came and were taken immediately to detention, and we have increased the number of holding places, we increased them thanks to vigorous Government action.

At the same time, this week we will complete the 200th kilometer of the fence. It will take us another few months to complete the 20 additional kilometers in the mountainous areas around Eilat and in the central part of the border with Egypt, and we are applying, I would say, great conscious pressure in Africa to explain to infiltrators that the rules of the game have changed.

Additionally, on my instructions, at the more or less weekly meeting that I hold on the issue of infiltrators – we are going to apply very great pressure on employers, first of all, via the tax authorities, so that they know that there are no free lunches here, and we have also advanced draft legislation to impose much sharper punishments on the employers. The infiltrators come here because they want work. As soon as they know that there is no work here, they will not come, and we still have much to do, and we are working in many areas, some of which I have not mentioned, but there is no doubt that regarding everything we have to do – we are changing the trend, and Israel is headed in the right direction in regard to dealing with a fundamental problem that threatens its Jewish and democratic character.”


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