There has been a significant drop in the number of migrants entering illegally into Israel, according to figures released Monday by the Immigration, Population and Borders Authority.
Only six migrants entered Israel over the past weekend, bringing the total since the beginning of July to 248, a sharp drop compared to the 1,000 migrants who entered the country in June and the 2,000 in May.
The migrants were all transferred to holding facilities.
“After years in which the infiltrator issue was ignored, the government’s plan has led to a turnaround and we are, for the first time, seeing a significant decline in the number of infiltrators,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
The migrants filter across Israel’s border with Egypt where, until recently, a dilapidated fence was the only physical obstacle. Today a new fence is near completion. The government has also implemented a series of disincentives for migrants to arrive, including a prohibition on Israelis from employing them and the construction of a large holding facility for those who are captured.
The government measures have come under harsh criticism by human rights groups.