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Illegal immigrants threaten Israel's economy, security: PM

(Xinhua)

12:52, December 05, 2011

JERUSALEM, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday pledged to crack down on the illegal immigrants flowing to his country, citing the threat their infiltration poses to the Jewish state.

"I view the flooding illegal, job-seeking immigrants as threats to our economy, society, security and the delicate demographic fabric which Israel is built on," Netanyahu said at the cabinet's weekly session.

"We are determined to protect our border and our citizens' jobs ... It is the obligation of any government that is concerned about the future of its people," he said.

The prime minister's comments followed a visit he made to the southern port city of Eilat last week, where he addressed a lawyers' conference.

Netanyahu paid a surprise visit to a local neighborhood that has turned into a slum inhabited by hundreds of African asylum- seekers, who fled to Israel through the nearby border with Egypt.

"I heard the residents' cry about their city being flooded with illegal immigrants. One needs to stand there and listen to them, to hear the despair of the mothers and fathers and business owners, who feel that they are losing their city and the ability to have a normal life," Netanyahu recounted his experience to the cabinet.

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