Itongadol.- Detaining infiltrators for 3 months is fine, but placing them in an open detention facility for 20 months is too harsh, says High Court.
The High Court partially rejected the motion filed by leftist human rights organizations against the so-called Infiltrator Law. It determined, however, that leaving infiltrators in an open detention facility for 20 months was too harsh of a measure. Instead, it set the maximum time for open detention at 12 months.
The version of the Infiltrator Law that was discussed by the court was approved on the last day of the 19th Knesset\’s term. Approved by 43 MKs against 20, it states that illegal infiltrators may be detained at the Saharonim jail for up to three months (instead of a year in the earlier version of the law), after which they are to be transferred to the open facility in Holot. They can be held in the open facility for a maximum of 20 months, instead of one year in the previous version, and can only be made to report to the facility once a day, at the end of the day, instead of three times a day in the previous version of the law.
The Infiltrator Law was revived in November, after key elements were shot down several months earlier by the High Court for Justice.
The law specifies that the state will try to ensure that asylum seekers leave the country in several ways. With the approval of the law, employers will be required to deposit a monthly fee for employing asylum seekers, at the expense of severance pay. Each asylum seeker working in Israel will also be required to deposit money from his/her own paycheck, which he/she will receive only upon leaving Israel.
Various versions of the law have been shot down by the court in recent years in response to motions filed by leftist groups. These judicial decisions have sparked intense frustration among nationalists, who see them as an undemocratic form of intervention by judges in the Knesset\’s decisions.