Israel reported a dramatic reduction in infiltrations by Sudanese refugees and other African migrants.
According to figures released Sunday by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office, 150 Africans have crossed into Israel illegally from Egypt so far this month. Approximately 900 made the overland crossing in July.
Israeli officials credited the drop to often two-fisted Egyptian patrols on the Sinai border.
At the height of the illegal migration, Olmert’s government came under pressure at home and abroad to offer asylum to refugees from the Darfur genocide. Arguing that most of the African migrants are seeking jobs rather than sanctuary, Israel decided to take in a limited number of Sudanese while shutting out other migrants.
On Sunday, the government approved the absorption of 498 Darfur refugees who entered Israel through Egypt.