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African migrants protest Israeli treatment

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African migrants in IsraelAbout 1,000 African migrants have marched out of an Israeli detention center in protest at their treatment and are camped out by the border after Israel's army prevented them from crossing into Egypt, migrant activists said Sunday.

The Eritrean and Sudanese migrants left the open detention facility Friday, saying Israel has not processed their claims for asylum. The migrants are imploring the U.N. to help resettle them elsewhere.

"We cannot continue living in a cage in the desert, with no release date and no judicial review," migrant activists said in a statement.

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The army had no immediate comment.

About 50,000 Africans have poured into Israel in recent years from Egypt. The Africans say they are fleeing persecution and danger. Israel says many are looking for employment.

Some believe Israel's history as a refuge for Holocaust survivors compels it to help the downtrodden. Others fear taking in so many Africans will threaten the country's Jewish character.

Israel has struggled with how to deal with the African migrants. It constructed a fence along its 220-kilometer (130-mile) border with Egypt, offered cash to migrants to return home, reached out to other countries to take them in and in many cases detained them.

 

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