JERUSALEM -- Israel's prime minister says thousands of Africans who have infiltrated into Israel will be sent back home.
Benjamin Netanyahu declared Wednesday that Israel has halted the flow of African migrants into Israel over the past seven months. He spoke while visiting the fence Israel built on border with Egypt to keep migrants out.
He said he will soon begin "repatriating the tens of thousands of infiltrators in Israel to their countries of origin."
About 60,000 Africans have entered Israel in recent years, some seeking asylum and others looking for work.
Sigal Rozen, whose group assists migrants, says it's unlikely Israel can repatriate them, since many come from conflict zones or countries that have no ties with Israel.
She says Netanyahu's pledge could be political posturing ahead of Jan. 22 elections.
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Even Ahmadinejad can't muster his trademark grin these days after a very public spat with Iran's Supreme Leader <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120927/ali-akbar-javanfekr-jailed-insulting-irans-supreme-leader">Ayatollah Ali Khamenei</a> and <a href="http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/03/14/10682456-insulting-ahmadinejad-angers-iran-lawmakers-during-grilling?lite">the Iranian parliament</a>. The tensions come amid relentless <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9144293/Irans-Mahmoud-Ahmadinejad-faces-impeachment-calls.html">impeachment demands</a> and public interrogations over his economic performance -- oh, and Israeli threats to strike the country's nuclear facilities. <em>Caption: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, current chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, gives a press conference at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait City on October 17, 2012, where he is attending the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) summit. (YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
As a key member of the Chinese Communist Party, Bo Xilai was once a rising political star with a bright future ahead - until his police chief, Wang Lijun, claimed that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/bo-xilai-expelled-china-communist-party_n_1922214.html">Bo's wife Gu Kailai </a> was involved in the murder of British Businessman Neil Heywood. Gu received a suspended death sentence and Bo was expelled from the country's top legislature. <em>Caption: In this March 14, 2012 file photo, Bo Xilai, Chongqing party secretary, attends the closing session of the annual National People's Congress in the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)</em>
Mali's interim leader probably expected some respect or at least a pat on the back following his swearing in ceremony. Instead, he was severely <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/21/diancounda-traore-mali-interim-president-protesters_n_1533865.html">beaten up</a> by a mob of angry protestors who stormed his office and knocked him unconscious. <em>Caption: A picture taken on April 12, 2012, shows Dioncounda Traore, the new interim leader of Mali, standing before the independence monument in Bamako following his swearing in ceremony. (HABIBOU KOUYATE/AFP/GettyImages)</em>
'It takes years to build, seconds to break' and such is the case of the U.S. military leader and intelligence chief, David Petraeus. A highly decorated four-star army general, Petraeus <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/09/david-petraeus-resigns-cia-director-affair_n_2103094.html">admitted</a> in November to an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. The scandal resulted in Petraeus' resignation as CIA director. <em>Caption: This Feb. 2, 2012 file photo shows CIA Director David Petraeus testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)</em>
Not only was Sarko voted out of office, the former French President also came to grips with a string of funding scandals and controversies, including <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/nicolas-sarkozy-funding-scandals_n_1505679.html">allegations</a> that he took financial advantage of 90-year-old L'Oreal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt. According to investigation findings, Bettencourt donated as much as 150,000 euros in cash to Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign. <em>Caption: This Friday, May 4, 2012 file photo shows France's then President and conservative candidate for re-election in 2012, Nicolas Sarkozy as he delivers a speech in Sables d'Ollonne, western France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)</em>
Although Syria's embattled president has repeatedly <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/syria-conflict-bashar-assad-wont-leave_n_2092203.html">vowed</a> that he will never leave his violence-ridden country, intensified fighting near the capital <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/05/assad-asylum_n_2245147.html">Damascus</a> in recent weeks may suggest that Syria's regime is on its last legs. <em>Caption: In this Jan. 10, 2012 file image made from video, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech in Damascus, Syria. Syria's conflict is the most violent to emerge from last year's Arab Spring. (AP Photo/Syrian State Television via APTN)</em>
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz probably got <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/africa/mauritanian-president-appeals-for-calm-after-he-is-shot.html">the shock of his life</a> when he was shot in what officials described as an accident with a nervous soldier. The leader ended up hospitalized and was later flown to France to undergo surgery. <em>Caption: In this Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, handout file photo released by the Mauritanian government news agency AMI (Agence Mauritanienne de l'Information), Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz recovers at the Ksar Military Hospital in Noukchott, Mauritania before being evacuated to France for further treatment for a gunshot wound sustained to the arm. </em>
The foundations of their seemingly untouchable newspaper empire almost collapsed following <a href="http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/28/15506460-judgment-day-looms-for-rupert-murdoch-piers-morgan-and-uk-press?lite">reports</a> that Murdoch's British papers bribed the police and hacked into the email of thousands of politicians, royals, celebrities, and ordinary people -- including a murdered schoolgirl. <em>Caption: A combo of file pictures created on April 19, 2012 shows media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of News Corporation (L) as he attends The Times CEO summit at the Savoy Hotel in London, on June 21, 2011 and his son James Murdoch (R) arriving for work in east London on July 13, 2011. (BEN GURR/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
The captain of the Costa Concordia luxury cruise ship, which ran aground and capsized off the Italian coast, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/10/francesco-schettino-concordia_n_1663516.html">got off to a really bad start </a>this year after court-appointed officials blamed him squarely for a series of blunders, delays and safety breaches that resulted in the tragic deaths of 32 people. <em>Caption: In this Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 file photo Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that run aground the tiny Island of Giglio last Friday, leaves the Grosseto court, Italy. (AP Photo/Alessandro La Rocca, Lapresse)</em>
For the Republican presidential hopeful, 2012 will probably always be the year he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/mitt-romney-campaign_n_2255015.html">lost</a> the race to the White House to Barack Obama. Maybe a binder full of sunshine will cheer him up. <em>Caption: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney embraces Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., after Romney conceded the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/David Goldman)</em>
Haunted by allegations of rape and sexual assault in Sweden, the Wikileaks founder <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/25/julian-assange-embassy-space-station_n_2018691.html?">took cover</a> in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition. He has since <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/julian-assange-lung-infection_n_2206895.html?">developed</a> a lung infection, according to the Ecuadorian ambassador. <em>Caption: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures as he talks during a news conference in central London, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)</em>
As a cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong was quick to win hearts. In 2012, however, Armstrong was stripped from his titles, banned from cycling and dropped by sponsors after being accused of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/10/lance-armstrong-teammates-testify-doping-probe_n_1954654.html">having used performance-enhancing drugs</a>. <em>Caption: This April 1, 2012 file photo shows seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong grimacing during a news conference after the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Michael Paulsen, File )</em>