Israeli police break into church to arrest illegal migrants

Thursday, December 24, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Officers from a special police unit formed to crack down on illegal immigration forcibly entered a Tel Aviv church on Monday and arrested a number of people.

The raid occurred at Redemption Power church, the most well-known African church in central Israel. During their intrusion, the officer caused serious damage to the churches ceiling, certain that more illegal immigrants were hiding in the rafters.

The Oz police task force had previously avoided raiding churches and other places of worship, and had even made that restriction part of its operating policy.

Israel is plagued by a constant flow of illegal migrants from Africa across its southern border. Many are refugees from the Sudan's war-torn Darfur region, while others simply come from poor African nations looking for better pay in Israel.

Israeli lawmakers and human rights groups have been engaged in discussions and arguments for years over what to do about the influx, which the state cannot bear financially or demographically.

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