'Up to 2.5 million Africans waiting to come to Israel'

July 18, 2010 17:42

Up to 2.5 million African migrants who are currently residing in Cairo "are waiting" to cross into Israel, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharnovitch claimed during a government meeting on immigration policy on Sunday morning.

"Between a million and 2.5 million African migrants are living in the Cairo area. Between 2006 and the end of this year, 13,000 illegal migrants will have entered the state," Aharonovitch said during the meeting.

The public security minister added that Ashdod had become a new center for illegal migrants, and that 2,000 had made their homes in the southern city.

According to figures presented by Aharonovitch to the government, 155,000 illegal African migrants now live in Israel. Some 50,000 are based in Tel Aviv's central bus station area. Eight thousand migrants live in Eilat, and seven thousand live in Arad.

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