Egypt to begin deportation of refugees

Israel waiting for Mubarak to appoint contact responsible for coordination.

jp.services1 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Geared up to deport hundreds of African refugees who have infiltrated Israel in recent months, the Defense Ministry is waiting for Cairo to establish a deportation administration that will be responsible for coordinating the refugees' return to Egypt. On the sidelines of the Sharm e-Sheikh summit two weeks ago, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that Israel could begin deporting the some 2,000 refugees - mostly from Africa and Eastern Europe - who have infiltrated Israel via the Sinai Desert back to Egypt and that he would guarantee their safety.
  • Open letter to world Jewry, by Akoon Mou Tsina In follow-up meetings, Egyptian officials promised to do more to prevent refugee infiltrations into Israel. The officials told their Israeli counterparts that Egyptian Border Police would increase patrols along the 250-kilometer border with Israel in an effort to prevent the infiltrations, which sometimes reach 60 to 70 a day. According to defense officials, however, Israel is still waiting for Mubarak to appoint a point of contact - essentially an Egyptian official who will be responsible for coordinating with the IDF the deportation of the refugees back to Egypt. "The process is held up," a defense official explained Monday. "We are waiting for Egypt to set up the mechanism so we can begin the deportation process."