Two African migrants were killed by Egyptian police as they attempted to illegally enter Israel, an Egyptian security official reported Saturday.
The victims, a man and a woman, whose nationality was not disclosed, did not respond to police warnings as they tried to cross the border between Egypt and Israel. Egyptian police then proceeded to open fire on the migrants. A third migrant was injured, the source said.
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The border between Egypt and Israel has become an important transit area for migrants, asylum seekers or drug traffickers, against which Israel has asked Egypt to act.
At least eleven African migrants trying to cross illegally into Israel were killed at the Egyptian-Israeli border in 2011, according to security services.
The illegal migrants' bill was approved in the Knesset Plenum nearly two weeks ago in its second and third readings. The amendment to the 1954 law will aggravate the terms of treatment towards illegal migrants and refugees that enter Israel illegally, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan.
According to the new amendment, the law, which was originally meant to deal with terrorists, will also be applied to asylum seekers. It also allows authorities to arrest and hold illegal migrants in a holding facility for a period of up to three years.
Moreover, anyone who assists illegal migrants while they are in Israel could be sentenced to a prison term of up to 15 years. The Knesset's Internal Affairs Committee filed a reservation to the bill and asked that an additional clause will be added to the law stating the law will only be applied to Israelis who aid illegal migrants that carry out criminal acts.
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