Israel, a country founded by war refugees and immigrants, recently erected a patrolled fence along its border with the Egyptian Sinai desert to help stop further illegal African migration. Approximately 60,000 African males (most from Sudan or Eritrea who enter from Egypt) are living and working in Israel illegally. A report published last week by Human Rights Watch, the Hotline for Migrant Workers, and Physicians for Human Rights said Israeli soldiers at the border have denied food and water to migrants, beat them with fists and guns and pushed them across the Israel-Egypt border with long metal poles.
Countries that provide asylum for refugees require them to prove that they have been abused and/or tortured in the country they are fleeing. (Proof is usually provided verbally. Such processes involve immigrants relating their stories of struggle repeatedly to a number of officials. The power of persuasion is crucial and often reliant on translation.) Israel has granted refugee status to 170 people seeking asylum since the newly-formed Jewish state signed the refugee convention in 1949.
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