The Holot detention center for migrants and asylum seekers who entered Israel illegally has reached full capacity, the Israel Prison Service said Tuesday.
Over 3,300 asylum seekers and migrants are currently incarcerated in the detention center in southern Israel, where inmates are required to check in during morning and evening hours but are free to leave during the day.
According to the Israel Prison Service, the Immigration Authority will have to decide in the coming days how to deal with asylum seekers who were summoned to Holot.
In August, the High Court of Justice ordered the government to free illegal migrants held for more than a year at the site, in a ruling that affected 1,178 asylum seekers.
Earlier this month, Ynet reported that former interior minister Silvan Shalom was considering a plan to expand the size of the facility. However, following Shalom’s recent decision to leave political life amid the numerous sexual harassment allegations against him, the plan must receive the approval of the prime minister.
Official figures show some 47,000 illegal immigrants are in Israel, almost all from Eritrea and Sudan.
Most of those who have not been detained live in poor areas of southern Tel Aviv, where there have been several protests over their presence.
Since 2006, Israel has struggled to establish and implement a clear legal framework to deal with the large influx of migrants, resulting in confusing and often conflicting ad hoc immigration policies.
The influx has slowed dramatically of late, as Israel has sealed off its border with Egypt more effectively.
The vast majority of African migrants living in Israel claim asylum seeker status, but the state has recognized fewer than 1% as asylum claimers and, since 2009, less than 0.15% — the lowest rate in the Western world.