IDF troops have been standing guard on the Egypt-Israel border over a group of
around 20 African migrants – including a pregnant woman – for the past five
The migrants are stuck in a sort of limbo, on the wrong side of the
border fence, but within the territory of the State of Israel, yet being kept
from entering the country by the soldiers. At the same time they are refusing to
be sent back to Egypt.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said Tuesday that “in
the area in question the border has been completed recently in order to stop
unapproved entry to Israel.
On the Western side of the border, turning
towards Egypt, is a group of foreigners whose entry to Israel is being prevented
by the fence. Due to humanitarian concerns the IDF is giving them
In early August, it was reported that a group of African migrants
became stuck in a culvert under the Egyptian-Israel border and were being
guarded by IDF troops. The IDF Spokesman’s Office said at the time that “in
light of the foreigners’ condition, humanitarian concerns and the unique aspects
of the situation, the decision was taken to make an exception and bring them to
the Israeli side of the fence.”
Also in August, a group of Israeli NGOs
released a report that stated that IDF soldiers are patrolling hundreds of
meters within Egyptian territory in order to detain asylum seekers before they
reach Israel and turn them over to Egyptian authorities.
official government figures, the nearly complete border fence has significantly
cut down on the amount of illegal migrants crossing into Israel.
Population, Immigration and Border Authority announced this week that over the
course of the month of August only 200 illegal migrants entered Israel, as
opposed to 2,000 in August 2011.