Breaking Into Israel

Channel 4: Unreported World

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Correspondent Ramita Navai and director Paul Kittel profile a smuggling ring that transports refugees from Eritrea into Israel via Sudan and Egypt.


The picture that emerges is harrowing, with Navai meeting exhausted refugees who have paid thousands of dollars and endured terrible hardships for a chance to escape the brutalities of their homeland. "The regime is bad and we just want to be safe," says one 25-year-old Eritrean called Omar, who wouldn't show his face for fear of reprisals against his family. Cramped into safe houses in the Sinai Desert, Omar and scores of others await the call to hide in the back of a pick-up truck and undertake the final leg of their journey across the Israeli border. As Navai discovers, further danger may await them: of the thousands who attempt this journey every year, some are killed by Egyptian border guards, some are forcefully repatriated to Eritrea and others are held to ransom by the smugglers.


'…a stark reminder that third world immigration is far more complex and tragic than the headlines allow.'
- Daily Telegraph


'A grim but necessary portrait of desperation and exploitation'
- The Observer


'And here we complain about budget cuts.'
- The Times
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Breaking Into Israel, Channel 4: Unreported World | Quicksilver Media