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Israeli laws discriminate against Arabs

Court: Infiltration law applies only to Arabs from neighboring states 

A 1954 law regarding infiltration into Israel applies only to Arab residents of states bordering Israel, and not to all foreigners who try to enter Israel illegally, the Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court ruled yesterday.

The decision came in a case involving two foreign citizens who helped six others make their way from Egypt to Israel illegally.

The defense argued that their clients were not guilty of violating the law on infiltration, but rather breaking a law on entry into Israel, which carries a lighter punishment. This is because the "purpose of the Law on Preventing Infiltration was to deal with the problem of the fedayeen of the `50s and `60s, and is unrelated to foreign workers."

"The law was intended to apply to the Arab population in an attempt to prevent entry by terrorists," they said.

The state argued that the law must be interpreted "in the spirit of the times" and not according to the intentions of the legislators who drafted it.

The judge sided with the defendants, ruling that the use of the words "enemies of the country," "terror operatives," and "Muslim zealotry" in commentary on the law and in the Knesset debate on its enactment points to "the specific objective and true purpose for which the law was enacted."

"The desired conclusion is that the law is not meant to be applied to just any foreign citizen but only to a resident of one of the states that borders Israel and enters across its border," the judge ruled.

The purpose of the Law on Preventing Infiltration, the court determined, "was to be an efficient and deterrent mechanism and to assist the security forces to overcome the phenomenon of the fedayeen in the 1950s and `60s, and in the circumstances of this case, the law does not apply." 


Haaretz, "Court: Infiltration law applies only to Arabs from neighboring states", 25 February 2005.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 25 February 2005.

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Tags: Israel, Israeli, law, court, Arabs, discrimination, infiltration, , conspiracy theories.

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