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Back to Refugee Law and Policy

Summary

As a Jewish homeland open to the immigration of Jews from all over the world, and a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, Israel has absorbed a large number of Jewish refugees from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  In handling applications for political asylum of non-Jewish applicants, Israel applies international law criteria in accordance with its treaty obligations and claims to abide by the principle of non-refoulement.

Israel has traditionally maintained restrictive immigration policies. This is due to that fact that it borders states and populations that are hostile, is affected by geopolitically volatile conditions in the Middle East and Africa, respects civil liberties, and enjoys a significantly higher standard of living as compared with other countries in the surrounding region.

While it has generally allowed Eritrean and Sudanese nationals who entered unlawfully and are already in the country to stay, it has not provided them with opportunities to become permanent residents or citizens.  In addition, Israel has erected a fence along its border with Egypt to prevent a further influx of African migrants.  It is also currently building a fence along the border with Jordan, which is reportedly hosting more than 600,000 Syrian refugees.

I.  Introduction

Established as a Jewish homeland open to immigration of Jews from all over the world,[1] Israel has absorbed hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees since its establishment in 1948.  It has admitted, however, only a limited number of non-Jewish refugees.

Following the end of World War II, between 1945 and 1948, thousands of Jewish European displaced persons attempted to enter Palestine, which was then under a British Mandate.[2]  Immigration to Palestine, however, remained severely limited until the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948, as “the British authorities interned many of the would-be immigrants to Palestine in detention camps in Cyprus.”[3]  Israel absorbed some 140,000 Holocaust survivors during its first years as an independent state.  In addition, it has admitted about 586,000 Jews from Arab countries who were dispossessed of their homes both before and after the establishment of Israel.[4]

Israel has continued to admit many immigrants from all over the world, including almost a million Jews and non-Jewish relatives of Jews who qualified for Oleh immigration status under the Law of Return[5] and emigrated from the former Soviet Republics between 1990 and 2014.[6]

The admission of non-Jewish refugees who do not qualify under the Law of Return, however, has traditionally been very limited.  Among those refugees who have been authorized to stay over the years were merely a few hundred Vietnamese escaping the Communist regime between 1975 and 1979 who later gained Israeli citizenship.[7]  In 1993 Israel issued temporary visas to eighty-four Bosnian Muslims who had been driven from their homes as a consequence of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.[8]

Tens of thousands of African migrants have entered Israel unlawfully via undesignated land crossings from Egypt in recent years.  Most of these migrants are Eritrean and Sudanese nationals claiming to have escaped political persecution in their countries.[9]  Their status has been the subject of public debate,[10] parliamentary hearings, several legislative amendments, and judicial review by the Supreme Court.

This report describes the current legal regime that applies to the admission of refugees in Israel and Israel’s procedures for processing asylum requests.

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II.  International Agreements

Israel is a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.[11]  It is also a signatory to the Final Act of the United Nations Conference on the Status of Stateless Persons, 1954,[12] and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.[13]  Accordingly, Israel recognizes a refugee as a person who,

owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.[14]

Israel is also committed to the principle

that no State should expel or return a person in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.[15]

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III.  Restrictive Policy on Non-Jewish Immigration

Israel’s immigration policies have been greatly affected by the country’s geopolitical situation, specifically the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict and the current volatile conditions in the Middle East and parts of Africa.

Responding to recent calls by Israeli liberals led by opposition leader Isaac Herzog to admit Syrian refugees escaping the turmoil in their country, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted that Israel had provided medical care to over one thousand injured Syrians.[16]  He further added that Israel had also made “efforts to aid African nations and thus stem the flow of migrants from African countries.”[17]  Netanyahu refused, however, to approve a general policy that would allow Syrian refugees to stay in Israel.  At a cabinet meeting in September 2015, Netanyahu reportedly stated,

Israel is not indifferent to the human tragedy of the refugees from Syria and Africa. . . . But Israel is a small country, a very small country that lacks demographic and geographic depth; therefore, we must control our borders, against both illegal migrants and terrorism.[18]

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IV.  Handling Asylum Requests

The authority to make determinations on refugee status in Israel is vested with the Minister of Interior.  In 2002 an interministerial committee for determining eligibility for political asylum was established by the Attorney General.  The Committee is responsible for evaluating individual requests and making recommendations to the Minister of Interior.  Until July 1, 2009, requests by asylum seekers in Israel were transferred to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  After that date the responsibility for handling requests from asylum seekers was transferred to the Refugee Status Determination Unit (RSD) of the Ministry of Interior.  The RSD works in close collaboration with the United Nations.[19]

According to information provided by Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority (PIA), RSD representatives have been trained by international experts in the treatment of asylum seekers.  Requests for asylum are reviewed in accordance with principles under the UN refugee treaty and with sensitivity to the relevant circumstances of the applicants.[20]

A.  General Principles

The PIA issued its Procedure for Handling Political Asylum Seekers in Israel (PHPAS) on February 1, 2011.[21]  The PHPAS clarifies that the processes it introduces do not derogate from the authorities vested in the Interior Minister by the Entry to Israel Law, 5712-1952,[22] except with regard to deportation authority.  The Minister, therefore, does not have the authority to expel asylum applicants prior to the rendering of a final decision on their applications.[23]  The PHPAS specifies that political asylum requests must be handled in conformity with Israeli law.  Such requests must also be treated in consideration of Israel’s treaty obligations, recognizing that “no person is to be expelled to an area in which there is prospective threat to his life, under the principle of non-refoulement.”[24]

B.  Advisory Committee on Refugees

The PHPAS established an advisory committee on refugees that reports to the Interior Minister or his/her designee.  The committee is chaired by a retired judge or a person who is qualified to serve as a district court judge and is not a civil servant, and who has been appointed by the Interior Minister in consultation with the Minister of Justice.  The committee further includes one representative of each of the following ministries: Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Interior’s Population and Immigration Authority.[25]

C.  Filing an Application for Asylum

An application for political asylum by a foreign national in Israel must be submitted to the PIA within a year from the date of entry into Israel or, in the absence of special reasons, must be dismissed.[26]  An application that is filed late may be considered by the head of a team in the PIA Infiltrators and Asylum Seekers Department if special reasons for the delay are presented by the applicant at the time of filing.[27]

An applicant who is in custody may submit his/her application to the PIA representatives in the custody facility.  The PIA must ensure that the applicant is informed of the manner of submitting an application for asylum in Israel, the right to contact a legal representative of his/her choosing, and the scope of representation to which he/she is entitled during the process.[28]  Applications for asylum by unaccompanied minors, “persons suffering from mental problems,” or victims of torture are handled with special sensitivity.[29]

D.  Registration and Identification

The PHPAS states the following with regard to the registration and identification of asylum applicants:

a.     A foreign subject arriving at the Authority’s offices to submit an application . . . will undergo a registration and identification process, in which he will be photographed, biometric means of identification will be taken from him, and he will give his full address, contact details and other identifying particulars, as required. The foreign subject will be requested to immediately update his address and contact details, should there be any changes in them.

b.    The presence of an attorney representing the asylum seeker will be permitted during the registration and identification process, provided that his participation is limited to comments which he may make prior to the process or after its conclusion, but not during the process.[30]

E.  Interview and Determination

Unless the applicant’s identification is refuted at the conclusion of the preliminary registration and identification process, he/she undergoes a basic interview.[31]  The basic interview must be conducted in the official language of the applicant’s country of origin if he/she understands that language.  Otherwise the interview will be conducted in any other language that he/she understands, and if need be, through an interpreter.[32]  The presence of an attorney representing the asylum seeker is permitted subject to conditions specified in the PHPAS.[33]

At the conclusion of the basic interview, the interviewer immediately decides whether to refer the applicant for a comprehensive interview or initiate the process for immediate dismissal of the application.[34]  The PHPAS provides a detailed list of requirements regarding the conduct of a comprehensive interview[35] and additional procedures for reconsideration of applications that have been denied.[36]

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V.  Asylum Requests by Nationals of Hostile States

Israel has rarely granted residence status to nationals of hostile states.  Special arrangements are made for residents of the West Bank and Gaza for the sake of family reunification.  Security concerns are reflected in the following PHPAS provision:

The State of Israel reserves the right not to absorb into Israel and not to grant permits to stay in Israel to subjects of enemy or hostile states – as determined from time to time by the authorized authorities, and so long as they have that status, and the question of their release on bond will be considered on a case by case basis, according to the circumstances and to security considerations.

Israel appreciates the UN Refugee Agency’s notice according to which until a comprehensive political settlement is reached in our region it will make every effort to find refugees asylums [sic] in other countries.[37]

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VI.  Prevention of “Infiltration” into Israel

A.  Regulation of Unlawful Entry into Israel

Israel currently shares borders with Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank.  Because of security concerns Israel maintains heightened supervision of its borders.  To better control its borders, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed the Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714-1954, on August 26, 1954.[38]  The Law was designed to “improve the security at the state borders and the general security [in the country] by improving the legal measures that are used against infiltrators.”[39]

In accordance with the Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714-1954, as amended, “infiltrators” (mistanenim) are persons who are not Israeli residents, do not possess an Oleh[40] or a permanent residence visa, and have entered Israel via a border that has not been designated as an international border crossing by the Minister of Interior.[41]

B.  Influx of African “Infiltrators” Since 2006

1.  Statistical Data

Since 2006 an increased number of migrants have crossed the border from Egypt to Israel.  A report issued by the PIA in April 2015 provides statistical data on “infiltrators” who “have unlawfully entered Israel through the border with Egypt, and have been identified at the border either upon entry or later within the jurisdiction of the State of Israel.”[42]

According to the report, nearly 65,000 Africans crossed illegally into Israel between 2006 and 2013.[43]  By March 31, 2015, 45,711 of them were staying in Israel, including four who had entered since the beginning of 2015; 747 have reportedly left voluntarily; 33,506 are from Eritrea; 8,637 are from Sudan; 2,984 from other countries in Africa; and 584 are from elsewhere.[44]

2.  Public Reaction

The increased number of African “infiltrators” has drawn public opposition, and their settling in population centers, particularly in Tel Aviv, and involvement in crimes in those centers has inflamed popular resentment.[45]

The influx of “infiltrators,” particularly between 2006 and 2013, has reportedly created fear that the demographic changes resulting from “a wave of impoverished Africans, mostly Muslims from Sudan and Christians from Eritrea, would overwhelm the Jewish nature of the state.”[46]  In addition, some have raised national security concerns over the influx and have argued that Israel is “the only country of the First World that borders only Third World countries.” [47]

Professor Ruth Gavison, founder and former president of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel,[48] has distinguished between

the entry of thousands, who actually come every month from countries that do not share a border with Israel and it is unclear whether they are labor migrants or asylum requesters, and a situation in which a relatively small number of persons who escape an imminent real danger that threatens them in their country adjacent to Israel arrive at the state borders.[49]

According to Professor Gavison,

[t]he dramatic phenomenon of large groups of people knocking at Israel’s borders in recent years, in a well-organized and financed process of transfers, in a situation such that their incentive to come to the state of Israel in a regular fashion because of the combination of their resentment of their location and the attraction to the place where they are coming—this phenomenon is a structural result of the reality in their country and the country to which they desire to come.[50]

Highlighting the superior social, economic, political, and human rights conditions in Israel as compared with those in surrounding countries, and the difficulty in monitoring the land border with Egypt, Professor Gavison concluded that ever-growing, unauthorized migration into Israel has become a strategic problem.[51]  Describing ways to handle it, she suggested that

[o]ur challenge is to apply the right balance.  On the one hand, under these conditions the State of Israel cannot maintain open borders . . .[;] on the other hand, . . . the State of Israel . . . has a duty towards those who are “refugees” and escape because of a threat to their lives or welfare because of their identity or views.  But . . . Israel—or other states—do not have such a duty towards work migrants.  It does not have a duty, under normal conditions, towards refugees who arrived [in Israel] after passing through a country in which they are not exposed to a similar threat.  Let us also remember that the duty towards the real refugees is to permit them to enter, and not to return them to the place where they are facing danger.  There is no duty to grant them status in the country where they have found shelter, but they should be permitted to live there in a reasonable way until a place where they could be absorbed [as immigrants] could be found or until they can return safely to their homes.[52] 

3.  Government Policies on Admission and Prevention of Further Sizeable “Infiltration”

A recent decision by Israel’s Supreme Court summarizes governmental policies on admitting African “infiltrators.”[53]  Regardless of whether their motives in arriving in Israel were to improve their economic conditions, as the State argued, or to escape political persecution, as petitioners in the case argued, the Court noted that Israel did not send Sudanese nationals back to their country.  The Court also noted that Israel subjected Eritrean nationals to a policy of “temporary nonremoval” in compliance with the principle of non-refoulement.  These policies did not prevent nationals of either country from filing individual applications to be granted refugee status.[54]

Describing the development of policies on admitting African migrants, the Court stated that at first “infiltrators” were returned to Egypt.  Because of the geopolitical situation in that country, however, this policy was discontinued.[55]

In response to public concern, in 2013 the Israeli government adopted an official policy offering Sudanese and Eritreans who were willing to leave $3,500 plus a one-way ticket home or to a third-party country, namely Rwanda or Uganda.  In addition, the government reportedly spent more than $350 million to build a 140-mile fence along its entire border with Egypt.  The steel barrier, completed in 2013, is believed to have almost fully stopped the illegal entry of migrants into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula.  The fence has similarly shut down human traffickers said to have engaged in the rape of women and extortion of migrants.[56]  An additional $75 million eighteen-mile fence along the border with Jordan, a country considered “home to more than 600,000 Syrian refugees,” is currently being erected. [57]

4.  Internment of “Infiltrators” for Identification and Determination of Refugee Status

Unable to return “infiltrators” to their countries of origin, the government started detaining such “infiltrators” in accordance with its authority under the Entry to Israel Law, 5712-1952.[58]  In accordance with this Law, however, the government was generally not authorized to detain them for a period exceeding sixty days.[59]

To extend the detention period, the Knesset passed a series of temporary amendments to the Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714-1954, that specifically authorize deporting and holding “infiltrators” in custody.[60]  As detention extending to one or three-year periods had been previously declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,[61] on December 8, 2014, the Knesset passed legislation that limited detention to a period of three months, which can be extended up to twenty months, while keeping intact the restrictions introduced by the earlier amendments, including that “infiltrators” must stay in detention facilities at night.[62]

According to explanatory notes of the Amendment Law, the new measures were designed to discourage further “infiltration” into Israel, enable the authorities to identify “infiltrators and remove them from Israel, enable the state to protect its borders and sovereignty, and prevent the continued settling of infiltrators at town centers in Israel.”[63]

In its leading decision rendered on August 11, 2015, the Supreme Court, sitting as an extended bench of nine justices, reviewed the constitutionality of the Amendment Law.  The majority of the justices determined that the three-month detention period for “infiltrators” for the purpose of identifying them and determining whether they should be removed from Israel was valid.  The placement of “infiltrators” in a specially designated center was also deemed lawful.[64]  The Court determined, however, that the twenty-month maximum detention period set by the Amendment Law was not proportional and therefore void. It specified that the decision would take effect six months following the date of issuance, thereby allowing the Knesset to pass new legislation to substitute the twenty month maximum detention period with a period that would conform to constitutional requirements. The Court further determined that the authority to hold “infiltrators” in a detention center during the six month period would be limited to a detention of up to twelve months. Detainees held for periods exceeding twelve months in total would therefore be released immediately or no later than fifteen days following the date of the decision.[65]

On February 8, 2016, shortly before the expiration of the six month period authorized by the Court, the Knesset passed a temporary amendment that will be effective for three years, determining that the period of detention of an “infiltrator” in a detention center may not exceed twelve months.[66]

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VII.  Status of “Infiltrators” Who Are Not Held in Custody

“Infiltrators” who are not in custody may obtain a temporary visit visa under section 2(A)(5) of the Entry into Israel Law, 5712-1952.[67]  They generally may be employed, as the government has expressed a commitment not to sanction employers of 2(A)(5)-visa holders.[68]  Employers may be sanctioned, however, for employing holders of an expired visa or for employment in violation of conditions that either fully or partially prohibit employment in specific geographic locations, such as Tel Aviv and Eilat.[69]  Although a temporary visit visa issued under section 2(A)(5) is not a work permit, employed visa holders are entitled to a number of benefits under Israeli labor law, including a minimum wage, sick pay, and health insurance.[70] 

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Prepared by Ruth Levush
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
March 2016


[1] Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, May 14, 1948, http://knesset.gov.il/docs/eng/megilat_eng. htm, archived at https://perma.cc/S56F-4QSX.

[2] Palestine was under a British Mandate confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, “in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”  Terms of the British Mandate for Palestine Confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations, July 24, 1922, in The Arab-Israeli Conflict and Its Resolution: Selected Documents 25 (Ruth Lapidoth et al. eds., 1992), also available on the Yale Law School Avalon Project website, at http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp, archived at https://perma. cc/F535-VN97.

[3] Refugees, in United States Holocaust Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/ article.php?ModuleId=10005139 (last visited Jan. 11, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/4NHW-9A4S.

[4] Fact Sheet: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries, Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/ jsource/talking/jew_refugees.html (last updated Dec. 2015), archived at https://perma.cc/7S4C-BQJH.

[5] Relatives of Jews may qualify for status as an Oleh, a Jew immigrating to Israel, under the Law of Return 5710-1950, as amended, http://knesset.gov.il/laws/special/eng/return.htm, archived at http://perma.cc/7UGG-4YK7.  According to section 4A, added in 1970, “a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew” are entitled to immigrate into Israel in accordance with the Law, “except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.”  Id.  Furthermore, according to the Amendment, “[i]t shall be immaterial whether or not a Jew by whose right a right . . . is claimed is still alive and whether or not he has immigrated to Israel.”  Id.

[6] Immigrants(1), By Period of Immigration, Country of Birth and Last Country of Residence, in Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 2013, at 237–38, http://www.cbs.gov.il/shnaton64/st04_04.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/3SWG-3XJP.

[7] Naomi Scheinerman, Immigration to Israel: Vietnamese Boat People in Israel, Jewish Virtual Library (Oct. 3, 2009), http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Immigration/VietBoatPeople.html, archived at https://perma.cc/ WC4N-JZPN.

[8] Stephen Kinzer, Israel Accepts 84 of Bosnia’s Muslim Refugees, NY Times (Feb. 18, 1993), http://www.nytimes. com/1993/02/18/world/israel-accepts-84-of-bosnia-s-muslim-refugees.html, archived at https://perma.cc/Q3QE-2K4U.

[9] Brianna Lee, Eritreans in Israel Protest for Refugee Protection, International Business Times (June 25, 2015), http://www.ibtimes.com/eritreans-israel-protest-refugee-protection-1984640, archived at https://perma.cc/HWK2-CJDS.

[10] For a discussion of the legal and national security aspects of the influx of African migrants, see Unauthorized Immigration as a Challenge to Israel – Conference Summary (Ruth Gavison & Meir Elran eds., The Institute for National Security Studies June 2013), http://www.inss.org.il/uploadImages/systemFiles/memo128e.pdf (in Hebrew), archived at https://perma.cc/ZG2Q-3BQD.  For  the crime rates of migrants’ in Tel Aviv, see Gilad Morag, Police: 53.2% Rise in Migrant Crime in Tel Aviv, Ynetnews (Feb. 28, 2013), http://www.ynetnews. com/articles/0,7340,L-4350598,00.html, archived at https://perma.cc/WHF9-JMAU; Roy Arad, Not Everyone in South Tel Aviv Wants the Asylum Seekers Out, Haaretz (Aug 13, 2015), http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/. premium-1.670806 (by subscription), archived at https://perma.cc/NDL5-HU7Y.

[11] Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, July 28, 1951, 19 U.S.T. 6259, 189 U.N.T.S. 137 (Convention) & Jan. 31, 1967, 19 U.S.T. 6223, 606 U.N.T.S. 267 (Protocol), http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10. html, archived at http://perma.cc/V86S-GU6S; Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees: Status of Signatories and Parties, United Nations Treaty Collection (Jan. 13, 2016), https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetailsII. aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=V-2&chapter=5&Temp=mtdsg2&lang=en, archived at https://perma.cc/63FJ-VBR3; Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees: Status of Parties, United Nations Treaty Collection (Jan. 13, 2016), https://treaties.un.org/pages/ShowMTDSGDetails.aspx?src=UNTSONLINE&tabid=2&mtdsg_no=V-5&chapter=5&lang=en#Participants, archived at https://perma.cc/C5HT-GKGM.

[12] Final Act of the United Nations Conference on the Status of Stateless Persons, Sept. 28, 1954, 5158 U.N.T.S. 118–24, https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20360/v360.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/ 5STD-FDRM.

[13] Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness with Final Act of the United Nations Conference on the Elimination or Reduction of Future Statelessness Held at Geneva from 24 March to 18 April 1959, and Resolutions I, II, III and IV of the Conference), Aug. 30, 1961, 989 U.N.T.S. 175, https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume% 20989/v989.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/PS5N-BPMD.

[14] Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, supra note 11, art. 2.

[15] Id. art. 33.

[16] For further information on Israel’s provision of medical care to wounded Syrians, see Charlotte Florance, How an Israeli Hospital Builds Bridges with Syria by Caring for the War’s Wounded, Daily Signal (July 21, 2015), http://dailysignal.com/2015/07/21/how-an-israeli-hospital-builds-bridges-with-syria-by-caring-for-the-wars-wounded/, archived at https://perma.cc/YE2S-KGFF.

[17] Batsheva Sobelman, One Country That Won’t Be Taking Syrian Refugees: Israel , LA Times (Sept. 6, 2015), http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syrian-refugees-israel-20150906-story.html, archived at https://perma.cc/56YD-LVKT.

[18] Yardena Schwartz, Non-Jewish Refugees Get a Cold Shoulder in Israel, Newsweek (Oct. 10, 2015), http://www. newsweek.com/2015/10/23/what-europe-can-learn-israels-refugee-crisis-382523.html, archived at https://perma.cc/ W4B8-34B2 (click “See the Screenshot View” and click on the article in the left column).

[19] Handling Asylum Seekers, PIA, http://www.piba.gov.il/authorityunits/pages/rsd.aspx (in Hebrew; last visited Jan. 13, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/553R-WZ85.

[20] Id.

[21] Procedure for Handling Political Asylum Seekers in Israel [PHPAS] (effective Jan. 2, 2011), http://www.piba.gov. il/AuthorityUnits/Documents/Procedure%20for%20Handling%20Political%20Asylum%20Seekers%20in%20Israel.pdf (last visited Jan. 12, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/4EXL-GHRB.

[22] Entry to Israel Law 5712-1952, 6 Laws of the State of Israel [LSI] p. 150, 5712-1951/52, as amended.

[23] PHPAS , supra note 21, at 1.

[24] Id.  For specific information on Israel’s handling of political asylum requests, see Requests for Political Asylum in Israel, PIA, http://www.piba.gov.il/AuthorityUnits/Documents/Requests%20for%20political%20asylum%20in%20 Israel.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/QW7V-ANYZ.

[25] PHPAS, supra note 21, at 1–2.

[26] A Refugee Status Determination Application Form is available on the PIA website, at http://www.piba.gov.il/ AuthorityUnits/Documents/RSD%20application%20form_300615.pdf (last visited Jan. 12, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/3A2K-3N9N.

[27] PHPAS, supra note 21, § 1c(2).

[28] Id. § 1a.

[29] Id. § 1b.

[30] Id. § 2.

[31] Id. § 3a.

[32] Id. § 3b(1).

[33] Id. § 3b(3).

[34] Id. § 3c.

[35] Id. § 5.

[36] Id. § 9.

[37] Id. § 10.

[38] Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714-1954, 8 LSI 133 (5714-1953/54).

[39] Draft Bill for Borders Security (Offenses and Jurisdiction), 5713-1953, Hatsaot Hok No. 161 p. 172 (in Hebrew; translation by author, R.L.).

[40] An Oleh visa is issued to qualifying Jews or their family members under the Law of Return, 5710-1950, as amended, http://knesset.gov.il/laws/special/eng/return.htm, archived at http://perma.cc/7UGG-4YK7.

[41] Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714-1954 § 1, as amended.  An up-to-date version of the Law is available in the Nevo Legal Database, http://www.nevo.co.il (in Hebrew, by subscription), archived at https://perma.cc/6TA7-UGDA.

[42] Population and Immigration Authority, Policy Planning Division, Data on Foreigners in Israel 10 (Apr. 2015), http://www.piba.gov.il/PublicationAndTender/ForeignWorkersStat/Documents/oct2015.pdf (in Hebrew), archived at https://perma.cc/43T8-Q46L.

[43] Id.

[44] Id. at 4.

[45] Opposition to allowing infiltrators to stay has included allegations that they have perpetrated criminal offenses, particularly in Tel Aviv.  See Morag, supra note 10.  For data on crimes committed by “infiltrators,” see Neta Moshe & Sharon Sofer, Reported Crime by Foreigners Including Infiltrators, 2009–2013 (Knesset Information and Research Center Aug. 12, 2014), https://www.knesset.gov.il/mmm/data/pdf/m03432.pdf (in Hebrew), archived at https://perma.cc/2MCD-D97D.

[47] Amnon Rubinstein, Irregular Immigration – The Position of Metzilah, in Unauthorized Immigration as a Challenge to Israel – Conference Summary, supra note 10, at 17–18.

[48] Prof. Ruth Gavison, The Israel Democracy Institute, http://en.idi.org.il/about-idi/idi-staff/emeritus-fellows-and-leadership/ruth-gavison (last visited Jan. 12, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/FAC4-P66Y.

[49] Ruth Gavison, Opening Remarks, in Unauthorized Immigration as a Challenge to Israel – Conference Summary, supra note 10, at 12 (translation by author, R.L.).

[50] Id.

[51] Id.

[52] Id.

[53] HCJ 8665/14 Tashuma Naga Dasta v. Knesset (decision rendered on Aug. 11, 2015) ¶ 5, http://elyon1.court.gov. il/files/14/650/086/c15/14086650.c15.pdf (in Hebrew), archived at https://perma.cc/EW6B-ZUT9.

[54] Id. ¶ 4.

[55] Id. ¶ 7.

[56] Ben Gittleson, Inside Sinai’s Torture Camps, The Atlantic (Nov. 14, 2012), http://www.theatlantic.com/ international/archive/2012/11/inside-sinais-torture-camps/265204, archived at https://perma.cc/D4GL-K6DJ.

[57] Schwartz, supra note 18.

[58] Entry to Israel Law, 5712-1952, 6 LSI p. 150, 5712-1951/52, as amended.

[59] Tashuma Naga Dasta v. Knesset ¶ 7.

[60] Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law, 5714-1954, as amended, ch. C.  An up-to-date version of the Law is available in the Nevo Legal Database,  http://www.nevo.co.il (in Hebrew; by subscription), archived at https://perma.cc/6TA7-UGDA.

[61] Tashuma Naga Dasta v. Knesset ¶ 9.

[62] Prevention of Infiltration and Ensuring the Exit of Infiltrators Out of Israel (Temporary Amendment) 5755-2014, Sefer HaHukim [Book of Laws] (official gazette) No. 2483 (Dec. 17, 2014), http://fs.knesset.gov.il/%5C19%5C law%5C19_lsr_306608.pdf (in Hebrew), archived at https://perma.cc/JS3G-WMT5.

[63] Tashuma Naga Dasta v. Knesset ¶ 12.

[64] Id. ¶¶ 40–49.

[65] Id. Verdict § 1 (adopting the opinion of Court President Miriam Naor set out in ¶ 115).

[66] Press Release, Knesset, Final Approval: Shortening Infiltrators’ Period of Stay in a Detention Center from 20 Months to 12 Months (Feb. 8, 2016), http://main.knesset.gov.il/News/PressReleases/Pages/press080216-0o00.aspx, archived at https://perma.cc/MTS6-889B; Prevention of Infiltration (Offences and Jurisdiction) Law (Amendment No. 5 and Temporary Amendment) 5776-2016 Draft Bill, Hatsaot Hok Hamemshala (Government Bills) No. 1006 p. 430 (Jan. 25, 2016), http://knesset.gov.il/Laws/Data/BillGoverment/1006/1006.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/8ACT-YFDF.

[67] Entry to Israel Law 5712-1952, 6 LSI p. 150 (5712-1951/52), as amended.

[68] Employment of Asylum Seekers, Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, http://assaf. org.il/he/content /העסקת-מבקשי-מקלט (in Hebrew; last visited Jan. 12, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/A33E-WHSF.

[69] Foreign Workers, PIA, http://www.piba.gov.il/Subject/ForeignWorkers/Pages/oz_mistanenim.aspx (in Hebrew; last visited Jan. 12, 2016), archived at https://perma.cc/A33E-WHSF.

[70] Kav LaOved, Workers’ Rights – For Hourly Workers (July 2011), http://assaf.org.il/he/sites/default/files/ working%20rights%20english.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/5XP7-FZC8.  A copy of a PIA decision form authorizing a conditional release with visa limitations is available at http://www.piba.gov.il/Spokesmanship Messagess/Documents/Scan_visa01.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/2KPR-5WVD.