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Israel kills man trying to cross border from Egypt's Sinai

The shooting is the latest instance of growing border tensions.

Israel rocket eilat egypt sinaiEnlarge
A rocket was fired from Egypt's Sinai desert into the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat on April 5, 2012, according to authorities. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli troops fired on two men as they tried to enter the border illegally from Egypt overnight, killing one, Israeli officials said today, reported Reuters

A military spokeswomen said neither of the men were armed, but declined to provide more identification information, said Reuters. The surviving victim has been hospitalized, according to Agence-France Press

The Sinai border shared by the two nations has been the scene of growing unrest, with Israel currently at work on a huge steel border fence to protect the area and keep out a flood of migrants, many of whom come from Africa, said AFP

More from GlobalPost: Israel to deport African migrants

Israel has been struggling to keep its growing African migrant population at bay, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 4 pressing for the speedy deportation of 25,000 illegal immigrants. 

An estimated 60,000 Africans have fled to Israel, prompting the construction of a new, $6.7 million detention center called "tent city" where Israeli officials want to move the entire African refugee population, a community the US recently said was being denied basic rights

Israeli officials routinely deny asylum seekers individual refugee status, which prevents them from access to health care and other services, said the State Department report

Israel has granted refugee status to only 170 people since signing the 1949 refugee convention, according to The Guardian.

Israeli interior minister Eli Yishai said Friday he hopes that the first few million Africans will be relocated to the new center soon because the huge African refugee community "threatens the Jewish identity," reported AFP.

Jerusalem, meanwhile, accuses Cairo of doing little to monitor the area by which many Africans enter Israel. The immense Sinai desert area is home to an unpredictable Bedouin community and serves as a crossing point for Palestinian militants from Gaza, according to Reuters. The area has recently seen growing number of refugees and an uptick in smuggling activity, said AFP.

Last month, an Israeli working on the border fence was killed by unknown assailants, said Reuters

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/120713/israel-kills-man-trying-cross-border-e