Israel to build fences along Egypt border
Israel will build fences on its long southern desert border with Egypt in an attempt to curb a growing flood of African refugees and asylum seekers who have poured into the Jewish state in recent years, officials said Monday. According to the AP, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said two fences would run along parts of 250-kilometer southern border with Egypt.
"This is a strategic decision to ensure the Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel," Netanyahu said in a statement. "Israel will remain open to war refugees but we cannot allow thousands of illegal workers to infiltrate into Israel via the southern border and flood our country."
The two fences will cover a total of 120 kilometers. One will be in southwest Israel, near the Gaza Strip town of Rafah. The other will be built near the Red Sea port city of Eilat.
Government spokesman Mark Regev conveyed ministers approved the plan Sunday evening. The project is projected to cost some US$400 million, according to local media.