The Population and Immigration Authority said Tuesday that its officers have been able to stop 97 residents of the Ivory Coast from arriving in Israel illegally under the guise of pilgrims.
The group was set to board a plane to Israel in Turkey, but information given to Ankara's authorities by the Population and Immigration Authority foiled their plan. The would-be infiltrators are to be sent back to their country.
"Intelligence information and cooperation with Turkey prevented a great inconvenience," said Amnon Shmueli, who heads the Population and Immigration Authority's Ben Gurion Airport division.
The cooperation between the Israeli and Turkish authorities is unusual considering the deepening diplomatic rift between the two nations.