The response of Israeli human rights organization on the ruling by the High Court of Justice regarding the third petition against the Anti-Infiltration Law
The response of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, ASSAF – Aid Organization for Refugees, Kav LaOved, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Amnesty International-Israel following the High Court’s ruling:
“The High Court made it clear today, for the third time, that the Knesset did not think through before ordering the denial of liberty of thousands of people. The Court ruled that detention in Holot for 20 months is unconstitutional, and anyone jailed in Holot for over a year will be released immediately. The state was given six months to formulate an alternative law for detention in Holot that will meet constitutional standards. The Court made it clear that a policy whose purpose is to break asylum-seekers’ spirit to coerce them to leave Israel is unconstitutional. The judges also criticized the slow pace of examining asylum claims and the abysmally low recognition rate of refugees in Israel.
Israel’s policy can not amount to either mass denial of liberty of innocents or complete neglect of the issue. We call on the government to direct the creativity and resources invested in jailing and pressuring asylum-seekers to give up and leave Israel in a policy that will benefit both asylum-seekers and residents of south Tel Aviv: redirecting the millions spent on detaining asylum-seekers to improving health and welfare services in areas, such as south Tel Aviv, where many asylum-seekers reside. The state can also encourage asylum-seekers to move out of overcrowded and impoverished neighborhoods by granting them work permits and providing incentives to employers through Israel to hire them.