Egypt/Israel: Shoot to Kill by Robin Hammond

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Barbed wire fences and a watchtower at the Egyptian/Israeli border. African refugees have been travelling in increasing numbers to Israel. There have for a long time been reports of shootings but the numbers rose after the summer of 2007. This correlates with a meeting between the then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak. Following this meeting the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated that they have the right to use force to stop people from illegally trespassing in their country. Soon after there was a rise in the number of shootings of refugees crossing the border. Many accuse Egypt of employing a shoot to kill policy on their border. The Egyptians themselves say there have been dozens of infiltrators shot dead by their guards. As they only comment on the incidences on their side of the border the total number of fatalities could actually be hundreds. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) will not comment on the number of dead or injured immigrants they pick up either in the no man's land between the Egyptian and Israeli border fences or that make it onto their side of the border.