Rosemarie and Rohan Perez

A Filipino worker and her 12-year-old Israeli-born son have been deported after a protracted high-profile court battle.

Rosemarie and Rohan Perez boarded a flight to Bangkok on route to the Philippines after an Appeal Court in Tel Aviv approved the deportation.

Population and Immigration Authority officers escorted the Perez family to the airport.

They departed after Ms Perez was taken off an earlier flight after causing an altercation on board.

The family is the first with school-age child forcibly deported in a large-scale operation involving some 100 foreign workers.

Most are Philippine families with children born and raised in Israel.

Three families have been arrested in the action initiated three weeks ago.

Gerladine Esta and her children, Khean, 10, and Kathryn, 5 are due to be deported next month.

Ms Esta has an appeal scheduled at Tel Aviv District Court.

Ophresina Cuenca and 12-year-old son Michael James are awaiting a decision,

Population and Immigration Authority officers arrested Ms Perez at her Tel Aviv apartment earlier this month, holding the family at Yahalom detention facility in Ben-Gurion airport until the deportation was approved.

Ms Perez, 42, entered Israel legally in 2000 as a foreign worker.

Rohan was born and raised in the city where he attended Bialik-Rogozin school.

After her employer died in 2007, Ms Perez lived in Israel illegally, working as a cleaner.

Ms Perez claimed she stayed in Israel for her sons’ education and there were no relatives in the Philippines.

“They took us to the airport with nothing,” the 42-year-old mum told reporters. “We asked to make a phone call, but they wouldn’t let us. I

“I told them that I wanted to stay here, we have done nothing wrong.”

Sabine Hadad, an Immigration Authority spokeswoman, said Israeli courts allowed the expulsion as Ms Perez had lived in Israel illegally for over 10 years.

Around 30,000 Filipino workers live in Israel, many in the care industry.

Government attempts to deport locally born children of foreign workers previously failed on humanitarian grounds in 2010.

The Interior Ministry blocked the move as children were attending school.

Population and Immigration Authority explained in a statement that in the current operation people who stay and work in Israel illegally can remain until a candidates’ children finish the current school year.

“These are foreign citizens who have been living illegally in Israel for a very long period without any regulated status”, a statement said. “In some cases, if not most of them, the children’s fathers are waiting for them in their countries of origin.

“These said workers were arrested this year for unlawful presence in Israel, but a decision was made, out of consideration, to allow their children to finish their school year, as long as the mothers respect the decision and wilfully leave the country with their children and go back home (without ‘deportation’)”.

“We are sorry to hear about the incessant attempt to abuse this considerate decision.”

By Natalie Ash