Illegal entry to Israel from Egypt is a mere fraction of what it was just last year, new data from the Immigration and Population Authority has revealed.
While 9,570 citizens of various African countries entered Israel illegally in the first half of 2012, only 34 did the same in the first six months of 2013 – a decrease of over 99 percent.
Multiple developments have been credited for the dramatic change. One is the new security fence which covers the 230 kilometers (144 miles) of border between Israel and Egypt.
Another is a law which went into effect in June 2012 under which illegal entrants to Israel who do not have refugee status are arrested.
The IDF has also bolstered its presence on the southern border in response to political instability in Egypt and increasing terror in the Sinai Peninsula, providing another obstacle to would-be illegal entrants.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reacted to the extreme decrease. “This is a result of the comprehensive work we’ve done to deal with the phenomenon of illegal entry,” he said.
“After stopping the phenomenon with the help of the fence we built along the border, we are now working to return the illegal entrants currently located here to their home countries,” he added.