Approximately 40 Sudanese refugees were sheltered by an Israeli family in the village of Kadesh Barnea near the Israeli Egyptian border in August 2007. Hundreds of illegal Africans, mostly Sudanese and Eritrean were crossing the border into Israel from Egypt and were picked up by the Israeli security forces until Egypt’s Pharaoh came.
Have you ever noticed how the United Nations never hesitates to bring the full weight of the wrath of all the nations of the earth down upon Israel, but acts like a weakling when it comes against Ahmadinejad’s Iran? Now the Nation of Egypt is receiving the “kid glove” of reproach as it “implores” the Mubarak government of Egypt to stop murdering African migrants trying to reach the Jewish State of Israel?
Recently nine Africans were fleeing across the Sinai Peninsula when they were gunned down by Egyptian troops. Over the past two plus years, over 60 known African immigrants have been murdered on Egyptian soil. According to reports of Israeli soldiers that were patrolling the regions, they discovered a horrifying scene of African men, women and children that almost reached the Israeli border when they were “brutally killed” by the pursuing Egyptians.
A statement made on this issue by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, admitted that it was not reasonable to suggest that all of the known deaths discovered were by accidents as she reported:
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay – “I know of no other country where so many unarmed migrants and asylum seekers appear to have been deliberately killed in this way by government forces,"
Yet the High Commissioner did not blame the Nation of Egypt with the suggestion that it was an issue of undisciplined Egyptian soldier that had to stay away from their homes and were giving into their “baser instincts.” As the report continued:
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay – “The sheer number of victims suggests that at least some Egyptian security officials have been operating a shoot-to-kill policy," the statement continued. "The Egyptian government should issue an immediate order to its security forces to ensure that firearms are used in strict compliance with international standards."
According to the Jerusalem Report (Extract from Issue 16, November 24, 2008:
Jerusalem Report – “Throughout recorded history and before it, the Sinai Peninsula has served as a land bridge for migrations and invasions into and out of Africa. Today its barren sands and craggy peaks are the backdrop for one of the routes taken by one of the most dramatic migrations in history: African refugees fleeing famine, disease, tyrannical governments and genocidal wars. In addition to those who undertake hazardous sea voyages to Europe or the Gulf in ramshackle vessels, thousands of desperate Africans take the no less arduous and dangerous option of trying to reach Israel by crossing Egyptian Sinai and stealing across the border into Israel…
At least 11,000 African refugees have crossed into Israel from Egypt over the last three years alone, according to the U.S.-based international non-governmental organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW). But for many, the journey has ended in tragedy. In July 2007, 28-year-old Hajja Abbas Haroun was shot dead by an Egyptian border guard as she sprinted towards the Sinai border fence with her husband, Saddik Sahour Abkar, after fleeing their home in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. Haroun, then seven months pregnant, and carrying her two-year-old daughter, Samar, in her arms, died instantly. Her husband was arrested and sentenced to a year in prison by a military court. Following the death of her mother, Samar spent several days at the El Arish police station, on the north coast of the Sinai Peninsula, before being collected by her uncle. She was finally reunited with her father after his release from prison on August 4, 2008.
The Egyptian government's attitude towards African refugees has become harsher over the last 12 months," says Michael Kagan, a Senior Fellow in Human Rights at the American University in Cairo. "They have now become increasingly violent at the border by shooting unarmed refugees in the back - including children - when the worst thing that they are doing is trying to leave Egypt by an unauthorized route." "You have always had migrant workers who are not refugees - Chinese, Thais and Egyptians - smuggling themselves into Israel from the Sinai for work.
In 2007, the flood of refugees into the Land of Israel was increasing and becoming international crisis. According to Israel Today, the “unconfirmed accusations against individual Israeli soldiers acting outside the bounds of international law in the Gaza Strip last year gave rise to the UN's Goldstone Commission and legal indictments against Israeli leaders.” Yet, Israel is always accused but never praised for their human rights record.
Yet Human Rights advocated, Michael Kagan told the Jerusalem Report in 2007 that the current crisis began to come to a head in 2004 when a small number of Sudanese refugees in Egypt - many fleeing the ravages of war in Darfur - chose to seek refuge in Israel, lured by the country's reputation among many Sub-Saharan refugees as a thriving democracy with a strong economy and a sound human rights record. "This group was desperate after facing a great deal of racism in Egypt, and after being left in limbo there by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cairo."
According to Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, the State of Israel was currently working with the United Nations, and by using a quota system for the refugees arriving to become naturalized Israelis by the illegal trafficking of humans through Egypt. While the State of Israel was trying to curb the influx of African nationals seeking to enter the Land of Israel, the citizens of Israel are having a hard time ignoring the issue. According to Sheetrit:
Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit – “Israel was founded after the Nazi atrocities against the Jews in WWII - could not ignore the issue. "Israel, with its history, must offer assistance"
Throughout the State of Israel there was an estimated that between 300-500 refugees from Sudan’s Darfur region that have successfully made it into Israel. Yet, back in Darfur, at least 200,000 people had been killed and two million families uprooted there between the years of 2003-2007. Many Israeli feel compassion that they should help as many refugees as possible from the regions of political and religious oppression.
Related Articles –
“Desperate on the Border” – Jerusalem Report
“Israel to accept Darfur refugees” – BBC News