Egypt is planning to deport seven Africans of different nationalities that were captured while trying to cross the border into Israel, security sources told a local newspaper.

The African migrants appeared in court and are being transferred from Sinai to Cairo in preparation for their deportation back to their countries, according to a report on Monday in Al-Youm al-Sabaa

Other infiltrators are waiting for decisions on their cases.

The question is if Egypt is changing its policy or increasing vigilance of its border concerning Africans traveling to Israel amidst the heightened security presence in Sinai.

“My impression is that this has a lot to do with the necessity for close coordination with Israel over the Gaza-Sinai border - I have to imagine that Egypt and Israel are cooperating very closely regarding Sinai security right now, since the last thing anyone wants is an incident,” said Joshua Goodman, an expert on the Beduin in Israel and Sinai and the author of his new book, Contesting Identities in South Sinai: Development, Transformation, and the Articulation of a Bedouin Identity under Egyptian Rule.

In the past, Egyptians have been accused of treating migrants quite harshly including allegations of shootings at the border, so this could be “a more moderate policy than what they used to implement,” Goodman, who is currently working on a PhD at Yale, told The Jerusalem Post.

Last week, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report dealing with the trafficking and torture of Eritreans in Egypt and Sudan.

Reports began to emerge in 2010 that traffickers sometimes turn on the people they are smuggling, “kidnapping and abusing them to extort money from their relatives in exchange for onward travel,” notes the report.

Eritreans told HRW in 2012 that Sudanese and Egyptian security forces worked with the traffickers during their journey.

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