PM: Israeli efforts to block migrants work

2012-11-04 21:29
A migrant worker stands inside a house burnt in a suspected arson attack against foreign workers in Jerusalem. (Sebastian Scheiner, AP)

A migrant worker stands inside a house burnt in a suspected arson attack against foreign workers in Jerusalem. (Sebastian Scheiner, AP)

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Jerusalem - Israel's prime minister says his government has successfully halted the flow of African migrants sneaking into Israel from Egypt.

Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday that the flow of migrants has been reduced to a trickle, and the few who entered Israel illegally in October were detained.

"One may explicitly say that we have blocked infiltration and now we must focus ... on repatriating the infiltrators," he said.

While few are now entering, some 60 000 Africans have already reached Israel. Many seek work, while others have requested political asylum. The influx has caused tensions in some neighbourhoods and raised fears that the Africans will undermine the country's Jewish character.

Israel is building a fence along its border with Egypt, and has detained thousands and offered incentives for others to leave.

- AP
Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  migration
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