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Egyptian Soldiers Kill Israel-Bound Illegal Immigrant

Egyptian soldiers shot dead an African woman seeking to illegally immigrate to Israel who failed to heed warning shots; arrest three others
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 4/25/2012, 7:11 PM

Sinai Security Barrier Construction
Sinai Security Barrier Construction
Reuters

Egyptian security officials said Wednesday that border guards shot to death a female African migrant trying to illegally cross into Israel, and arrested three others.

The officials say the slain woman refused to stop early on Wednesday when guards fired warning shots in the air while chasing her south of the Rafah border crossing in the Sinai Peninsula.

Separately, three African migrants were arrested while trying to cross borders in the same area, according to the same official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

Israeli officials have in recent months charged Cairo with inaction in confronting the stream of illegal immigrants from Africa who pass through Egypt into the Jewish state and demanded more aggressive border enforcement.

Many illegal immigrants from Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and other African states have sought to make the long journey through Egypt to Israel to escape poverty and war. 

The issue has increasingly become a demographic concern for Israel, where demands to deport illegal immigrants have grown in strength.

Jerusalem has moved to accelerate the completion of its Sinai border fence, which is expected to be completed later in the year.

Israeli officials have also offered illegal African immigrants who agree to return home a financial assistance basket, while instructing the immigration authority to begin rounding up those immigrants who do not come forward by the end of April.

Additionally, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced late last year that he was planning a trip to visit African leaders in order to facilitate the repatriation of their nationals illegally residing in Israel.