Page last updated at 08:39 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Egypt releases Israeli reporter


Egyptian authorities have released an Israeli journalist arrested crossing the border into Israel on the trail of illegal African migrants.

Yotam Feldman, 30, was held for a week by the Egyptian authorities, who arrested him with a Ghanaian man in the Sinai desert.

His father claimed he had been beaten while in custody.

Egyptian border guards have shot nine African migrants this year trying to make it across the border.

The Israeli government requested a clampdown by Egyptian authorities after a rise in the number of asylum claims from Africans in Israel.

The long desert border is also a route for drug smugglers.

Mr Feldman was flown to Tel Aviv on Sunday night and met by Israel's Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

He has reportedly said he paid Egyptian smuggling gangs to allow him to film their operations.

"The plan wasn't for him to be caught and beaten up by the Egyptians," his father, human rights lawyer Avigdor Feldman, told news agency Reuters.

"The plan was for him to come back with footage of a phenomenon that is really unfamiliar to us."

More than 13,000 people have managed to make the journey since 2006.

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