Illegal Infiltration Up Again in March

Illegal entry to Israel reached a new high in March, with 750 people entering via the Egyptian border over the course of the month.

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Maayana Miskin, | updated: 18:30

Illegal African immigrants
Illegal African immigrants
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Illegal entry to Israel was higher in March than it had been since the beginning of the year, according to Immigration Authority data. Close to 750 people illegally crossed the Egyptian border into Israel in the course of the month.

In January and February illegal entry dropped, with 600 and 400 people entering in each month respectively, compared to an average of an estimated 1,000 entrants a month in 2010.

Immigration Authority officials stressed that despite the figures for March, they expect illegal entry to continue to drop due to newly instituted policies, including the construction of a border fence in the south.

The Authority will continue to do everything in its power to enforce immigration law and prevent illegal entry, they said.

Illegal entry to Israel jumped dramatically between 2006 and 2010, from an estimated two dozen or so entrants per month to hundreds every week. The government has fought the trend by building a fence between Israel and Egypt, and by establishing the Oz police unit, which is charged with enforcing immigration law.

The unit has faced a well-organized campaign by several left-wing Israeli and international groups that seeks to pressure the police and the government to allow illegal entrants to remain in Israel, for the sake of their children. The government has given in to many of the demands made by campaign organizers, allowing at least 2 of every 3 children present in Israel to remain in the country – with their parents being allowed to stay as well.