“Many women from Africa can come and we will have to take them in,” Deri said.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Until 2012, Israel contended with a large influx of illegals from Africa. Then, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a barrier built along Israel’s border with Egypt. A Monday decision by the Supreme Court may open the floodgates again, critics say.
On Monday, the court rejected a request from Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri to revisit a decision it made in February to allow women to apply for refugee status for fear of undergoing genital mutilation if they return to their home countries.
The specific case heard by the court involved daughters of a family from the Ivory Coast. The court ordered the state to grant refugee status to the daughters and their parents.
Israel’s Channel 20 notes that the family repeatedly petitioned to UN not to deport them for other reasons, and only after those attempts were rejected did they seize on the fear of genital mutilation. Channel 20 reports that the presiding judge, Daphne Barak-Erez, didn’t check whether there was an actual danger if the family returned but took them at their word.
Deri said at the time that he would request a rehearing as the decision “could have very harsh consequences and totally change Israel’s immigration policy.”
“Many women from Africa can come and we will have to take them in … this is unacceptable and I intend to fight it. We can’t change the existing immigration policy,” Deri said.
More than 200 million women in 30 countries have been subjected to female genital mutilation, according to the World Health Organization.
Some 90 percent of women in Egypt undergo the procedure. Channel 20 reports that according to the new rule, any woman crossing the border can demand refugee status.
There are currently some 40,000 Africans who have entered Israel illegally. Most are concentrated in south Tel Aviv. Polls show a majority of Israelis want them returned to their home countries, but government efforts to remove them have been stymied by the Supreme Court.