Egypt arrests 34 African migrants trying to enter Israel

Police official says 8 Eritreans, 9 Ethiopians caught on pickup trucks belonging to Bedouin traffickers near town of Nekhil.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 17, 2010 18:31
1 minute read.
A Sudanese refugee at the border fence between Isr

sudanese at fence 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

CAIRO  — An Egyptian police official said Friday that 34 African migrants were arrested in separate incidents in the Sinai peninsula heading to the border with Israel to try and cross it illegally.

The official said eight Eritreans and nine Ethiopians were caught on pickup trucks belonging to Bedouin traffickers near the town of Nekhil, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) east of the capital, Cairo.

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The Bedouins fled from the scene on foot.

The official said smaller groups of migrants were caught a few miles south of Rafah border crossing and in central Sinai. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Many migrants seeking political asylum and jobs try to cross into Israel with the help of Bedouin traffickers.

At the end of November the government approved a plan to construct a detention center in the South to house African migrants who illegally cross into Israel from Egypt.

The facility will provide basic shelter, food and medical services for the infiltrators until they leave the country.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave his support for the facility and said "for years, people have spoken about stopping the wave of illegal infiltrators who are entering the country.  There has been talk for years but now we are not talking."


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