Egyptian police kill woman trying to cross into Israel

24-year-old Eritrean, Hana Mohammed, dies during chase after running into barbed wire; human traffickers flee.

egypt border guard 224 (photo credit: AP [file])
egypt border guard 224
(photo credit: AP [file])
Egyptian border police shot dead an Eritrean woman trying to cross illegally into Israel in the early hours of the morning Saturday, security and medical officials said. Police killed 24-year-old Hana Mohammed after she refused to surrender as they chased her along the border area, seven kilometers south of the Rafah crossing point, a security official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. "The guards aimed at her legs to try to avoid killing her," the official said, "but she tried to jump over the barbed wire but was caught on the wire on it, severely injuring her stomach." Mohammed was admitted bleeding from her thigh and stomach, said Imad Kharboush, head of emergency unit at el-Arish hospital. He said that the Eritrean refugee was first admitted to Rafah hospital but then, due to the lack of the necessary equipment, had to be transferred 30 kilometers down the road to another hospital. "She died just as the ambulance arrived at el-Arish hospital," he said. A truck, believed to belong to human traffickers, was seen fleeing the scene of the incident, the official added. In July, Egyptian police admitted to killing a Sudanese woman and wounding four other refugees as they attempted to cross the border and ignored orders to stop. Israel estimates that 2,800 people, mostly from Africa, have entered the country illegally through its border with Egypt in recent years searching for jobs. The number shot up over the summer, apparently as word spread of job opportunities in Israel and a more lenient policy towards refugees. As many as 50 people arrived each day in June, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.