Court delays ruling, migrants stay on Egypt border

State says it has no legal obligation to allow entry to group of asylum-seekers, but claims providing food, water.

Migrants at Egypt border 370 (photo credit: reuters)
Migrants at Egypt border 370
(photo credit: reuters)
A group of African migrants will remain in limbo on the Israel-Egypt border over the weekend after the High Court of Justice failed to make a ruling on their status on Thursday. The court scheduled an additional discussion of the issue for Sunday.
The court was discussing a human right's group's petition calling on the state to let the asylum seekers enter Israel because they would face danger from Beduin smugglers in Egypt's Sinai peninsula if not granted entrance to Israel.
The state argued that they were under no legal obligation to allow the migrants entry into Israel.
Representatives of the Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry told the court that they were providing the refugees with needed food, water and medical aid.
An IDF commander arrived Thursday afternoon at the Egypt-Israel border, and told those gathered on behalf of the approximately 20 asylum seekers stranded on the Egyptian side of the border fence that IDF medical teams are monitoring the situation and giving the migrants fluids, but not food.
The commander said he could not grant anyone access to the asylum seekers for security reasons nor allow food to be distributed to them.
The crowd of approximately two dozen supporters appeared to be preparing to disperse from the scene.
Police and the IDF on Thursday blocked a convoy of approximately 20 doctors, nurses, medical students, and activists attempting to make contact with and check the medical condition of the asylum seekers.
On Wednesday, the government issued a statement saying that Israel has no legal obligation to allow the migrants to enter the country.
"There has been no determination by any international body according to which Sudanese or Eritrean citizens are persecuted in Egypt or that their lives are in danger. Therefore, there is no legal obligation to allow entry into Israel of those who are near the fence,” the statement read.