The world wide migration of people seeking to escape poverty and brutality has created new issues for Egypt and Israel. Thousands of refugees from Somalia or Eritrea are leaving their homelands and seeking work in Israel. The current Israel-Palestinian conflict has created opportunities for foreigners to fill jobs once handled by Palestinians. The government of Egypt is taking a strong stand against Eritrean refugees and yesterday flew at least 200 back to the horror of Eritrea. The UNHCR which works with refugees has been prevented by the Egyptians from communicating with the refugees. It is now expected that about 1500 additional Eritreans will be deported back home. As Amnesty International notes, “Most asylum seekers returned to Eritrea ware likely to be arbitrarily detained and incommunicado in inhumane conditions from weeks to years…they will be at serious risk of torture or ill treatment.” Many of the Eritreans begged the Egyptians not to return them to a horrible situation but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
A high percentage of the Eritreans are Pentacostal Christians who are fleeing from religious persecution. Most want to enter Israel where they hope to find work. So far this year, at least 13 have been killed by the Egyptian police as they tried to cross the border into Israel. It is another African human tragedy and no one will do anything to help these people.