Explained by Israeli government as an essential element to protect the State of Israel, the project will cost NIS 1.35 billion and intends to stop the transit of economic migrants, asylum seekers and drug smugglers, as well as possible terrorist incursions, into Israel. After years of deliberations, Israel is set to begin the construction of a barrier along its border with Egypt, on Monday, laying the ground, installing electronic sensors and applying advanced surveillance technology in those stretches of the border easy reach on foot.
‘Tomorrow dozens of heavy engineering vehicles will be deployed at points along the Israel-Egypt border and will begin construction of the physical barrier,’ the Israeli defense ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The construction of the 250 kilometre border fence, which was approved by the government in March, intends to stop the infiltration of illegal migrants, asylum seekers and drug smugglers.
According to Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority, averages of 700 illegal migrants enter through the Egypt-Israel border every week and that reflects an increase of some 300% since the beginning of 2010.
Last week, in a memorial to former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, current Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, explained the construction of the barrier as ‘our obligation and our right, to protect the State of Israel.’
Israel, which has a strict immigration policy for people who are not Jewish, has given in 2010 about 200 permits for asylum to migrants, compared with a single permit in 2008 and two in 2009.
Recently, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch reported that Egyptian police have killed at least 85 African migrants trying to cross into Israel since 2007, Maan reported.