By Strategy Page
The UN is pressuring Israel to accept as asylum seekers some 60,000 Africans who are illegally in Israel. Nor surprisingly Israel refuses to do this because most Israelis will vote against any politician who does anything to keep the illegal migrants in Israel. While illegals from non-African countries can usually be sent back, African countries demand large bribes to do so. African rulers who accept illegal migrants back also earn a lot of ill-will from their own people, who see migration (legal or otherwise) as a right. Israel is trying to bribe the illegal migrants to go home, which is having some success. But for many of these Africans, going home is not an option because back home there is only poverty and oppressive government.
All this is a side effect of the Palestinian terror campaign begun in 2000 to try and get better peace terms out of Israel. This campaign failed but it resulted in Israel sealing off Israel from the Palestinian territories. Since Israel could no longer trust Palestinian workers to cross from the West Bank without some suicide bombers coming with them foreign workers were brought in to replace over 100,000 Palestinians. This encouraged many Africans to try and sneak in. Egyptian smugglers soon had a thriving business. The smugglers charged migrants (mostly Africans) about $300 (initially, much more later) each to get them across the border. The smugglers also bring in illegal drugs. By 2010 there were about 250,000 foreign workers in Israel (40 percent of them illegal), and at least 5,000 additional illegals getting in each year. Most of those jobs would have been held by Palestinians were it not for the Palestinian terror campaign, which is still going on.
By 2012 there were violent anti-African demonstrations in Tel Aviv. Most Israelis wanted the 60,000 illegal migrants from Africa deported. Most asylum claims are rejected, but African nations are reluctant to take these migrants back. While not allowed to work, the migrants get jobs illegally and are responsible for a growing portion of the crime committed. Israel responded by building a 400 kilometer long security wall along the Egyptian border to try and keep the migrants out.
By the end of 2012 the new security fence on the Egyptian border had halted the flow of illegal African immigrants. At that point 60,000 of the Africans who had sneaked into Israel were still there. But the number of new illegals had been reduced to about 500 a year. Before the fence was built as many as 2,000 a month got in. The Bedouin smugglers and Egyptian border guards had an understanding (of sorts) with the Israelis that they would not move terrorists or terrorist weapons across the border. The Israelis still tried to stop the smuggling, but not as vigorously as they would if terrorists were involved. The Egyptian border police took bribes to allow the smugglers and their African clients pass but the Israeli police arrested anyone they encountered. With the security fence it was much more difficult to get past the Israelis. http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htmurph/articles/20140209.aspx