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Egyptian police kill, wound Eritreans crossing into Israel
By Yusri Mohamed | October 24, 2006
Egyptian police kill fleeing Eritreans
ISMAILIA, Egypt, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Egyptian police killed an African woman and shot and wounded three other migrants as they tried to cross Egypt's desert frontier and enter Israel illegally, security officials said on Monday.

[Also listen to Zenaneh Mekonnen's report to German Radio (DW - Amharic) about Eritrean refugees in Israel. Zenaneh Mekonnen's email: zenaneh.mekonnen@gmail.com]

The sources said the woman, who carried no identity papers but was believed to be an Eritrean in her 30s, was shot dead and a man was wounded after police fired on a group of at least 10 Eritrean migrants overnight. Five children were among the group.

"The Egyptian police were obliged to open fire on a group of Africans after they refused to stop and tried to flee in the direction of Israeli territory," one security source said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

The death brings to six the number of African migrants who have been killed trying to cross the Egypt-Israel border since the start of the year.

Rights group Amnesty International says Israel has put pressure on Egypt to reduce the flow of people crossing the border illegally, and Amnesty has called for an investigation into the killings.

In two separate incidents hours after the Eritrean woman was killed, police shot and wounded an 18-year-old migrant from Ivory Coast and a 28-year-old migrant from Sudan.

Police arrested 13 migrants from all three incidents, including the five Eritrean children and the three adults who were wounded, the sources said.

Amnesty says thousands of migrants try to cross into the Jewish state from Egypt each year, with numbers rising since 2007. Egypt's Sinai peninsula is the main route for traffickers trying to take mainly African migrants, including many from Sudan and a growing number from Eritrea, into Israel.

The migrants are seeking work or asylum away from conflict at home and harsh living conditions in Egypt, where activists say African migrants face economic marginalisation and racism. (Reporting by Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Cynthia Johnston, editing by Aziz el-Kaissouni and Mary Gabriel)

400 Eritreans arrive at UN offices in Tel Aviv

TEL AVIV (Feb 17) - Hundreds of Eritreans who infiltrated Israel through breached Egypt border arrive at UN facilities in Tel Aviv, ask they be recognized as refugees. Interior Ministry, Immigration Administration said to be 'working on joint solution'

The Interior Ministry reported Sunday that 400 Eritrean refugees had arrived at the UN offices in Tel Aviv, announced that they had crossed the border from Egypt into Israel last week and applied for refugee status in Israel.

According to the Yossi Edelstein, director of the Interior Ministry's Population Administration's Foreign Workers' Enforcement Unit, said "IDF forces apprehended them shortly after they had crossed the breached border between Israel and Egypt, but due to a glitch in communication between the IDF and the Shin Bet (internal security service), they were let go, despite the fact that Ketziot Prison in the Negev has 500 places to house them in.

"I have no idea how they got to Tel Aviv or what they're living on," added Edelstein. "We're looking into what we can do for them, along with the Immigration Administration… Israel is doing all it can to help the refugees, but we can only take in so many."

The 400 Eritrean refugees have already been preceded by hundreds of refugees from Sudan, who infiltrated Israel last week. They choose to come here, said a source in the Interior Ministry, because Israeli is rumored to grant them refugee status.

Diplomatic sources negated the possibility of the UN giving the Eritreans refugee status, due to Israel's limited resources and strong objections. The UN has granted refugee status only to those fleeing the Darfur genocide.

Israel has previously granted protective status to Eritrean refugees, but according to diplomatic sources, the State had notified the UN that those arriving after December 25, 2007 will be considered illegal aliens.

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Source:
Ynet News


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