The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ representative in Israel spoke out on Sunday against the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority’s decision to detain illegal migrants for lengthy periods.

If the government imprisons asylum seekers for long periods, said William Tall, the UN will take legal action against such a decision, reported Army Radio.

The agency, which is part of the Interior Ministry, decided in coordination with the Shin Bet, that illegal migrants who cross into Israel from Egypt will be detained for periods of up to three years, rather than being permitted to move into Israeli cities.