Number of 'infiltrators' drops drastically

By
April 3, 2013 16:27

The number of migrants who have crossed into Israel from the South has reduced by several thousands since last year.

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Migrants at Egypt border

Migrants at Egypt border 370. (photo credit: reuters)

There are some 55,195 African migrants living in Israel, according to figures released by the Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority on Wednesday.

PIBA said that the total number of “infiltrators” (the Israeli government’s term for migrants who crossed into Israel from the southern border) who have entered Israel over the past decade or so totaled 64,638.

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The report says that of this population of 55,195, 36,436, or 66 percent, are from Eritrea and 13,865, or 25% are from Sudan.

The rest are from various countries elsewhere in Africa. The current figure is thousands less than in last March, when a PIBA report said there were 58,088 “infiltrators” living in the country.

Since then, the state carried out its policy of returning the community of south Sudanese to Juba, and also sent back over 1,000 natives of north Sudan from both inside and outside the country’s detention facilities.

In a marked departure from last year, before the fence on the Egyptian border was built, the report says that only 10 people crossed the border in January 2013, and only 5 in February. In the report from last March, PIBA said that 2,171 people had entered in January, followed by 1,303 in February.

The report relates to the entire population of foreigners in Israel, not only African migrants, and states that a total of 232,328 foreigners live in Israel – among them 70,584 legal foreign workers, 14,549 illegal foreign workers, 92,000 tourists on overstayed visas, and the African migrant population. This number is slightly lower than the figure from last March, when PIBA stated a total of 242,006 foreign citizens were living in Israel.


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