(JTA) — Israeli troops evacuated to medical treatment five people who Egyptian soldiers shot as they tried to cross over into Israel.
Two of the casualties sustained critical injuries to internal organs, and the remaining three were lightly wounded after Egyptian border guards opened fire Friday on 29 Africans who tried to cross over to Israel, according to the news site nrg.co.il.
An Israel Air Force helicopter flew the wounded to the Soroka Medical Center, where the two critically wounded Africans were rushed to surgery. The 24 Africans who were unharmed during the attempt to cross the border were taken to a detention facility for illegal immigrants.
According to reports compiled for the Israeli Knesset, approximately 60,000 Africans have illegally entered Israel from the Sinai Peninsula at a rate of several thousand people each year. The erection in 2012 of a wall along Israel’s border with Egypt brought down the infiltration rate drastically, to several dozen annually.
Egyptian soldiers are under orders to shoot anyone approaching the border. Israel regularly rounds up Africans who cross into it and place them in detention facilities. Immigrants with a refugee status are granted work permits and are allowed to live at a place of their choosing.