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Eritreans on Border: 2 Women, Child Let In, the Rest Not

Netanyahu: It is important that everyone understand that Israel is no longer a destination for infiltrators."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/6/2012, 6:59 PM

Eritreans behind border fence
Eritreans behind border fence
Reuters

Israel decided Thursday afternoon to let two women and a child from Eritrea to cross the border into Israel, after they waited outside the border fence for 8 days. The other 18 Eritrean men in their group were handed over to the Egyptian authorities.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: "It is important that everyone understand that Israel is no longer a destination for infiltrators. We are determined to stop the flow of infiltrators that existed here. We put up a fence for this purpose and it has already reduced the number of infiltrators by 90%. We will step up the measures against employers of illegal infiltrators and we will continue the effort aimed at returning the infiltrators to their countries of origin."

Israel's High Court had been reviewing a motion filed on behalf of the Eritrean would-be infiltrators who were blocked by the new border fence from illegally entering the country from Egypt last week.

The appeal, made on behalf of the hopeful migrants by Israeli NGO “We Are Refugees,” accused Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Interior Minister Eli Yishai of refusing to allow the Eritreans to apply for political asylum.

The group has been stranded in a no-man's land on the border with Egypt between the fences of the two countries since last Thursday.