Menu JTA Search

Netanyahu credits fence for stemming tide of illegal African migration

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

JERUSALEM (JTA) — No migrants from African countries such as Sudan and Eritrea entered Israel in August.

Some 193 illegal African migrants entered Israel from its border with Egypt during August 2012.

“The fence has completely blocked illegal migration — also an extraordinary achievement,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday in making the announcement at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Last year, Israeli erected a fence and added sophisticated surveillance to keep out the infiltrators. Hundreds of African migrants formerly entered Israel each month.

Also during August, some 168 African migrants left the country voluntarily, according to reports.

There are about 55,000 illegal African migrants in Israel, most from Eritrea and Sudan. Most are economic migrants seeking a place to make a better life for themselves.

Last week, Israeli media reported that Uganda had agreed to take in African migrants willing to leave Israel and either absorb them or serve as a transfer point to their countries of origin.

Ugandan officials have denied the reports, though Israeli officials reportedly said the deal was verbal.

 

NEXT STORY