Israel on Monday started to work on building a huge barrier along its southern border with Egypt in an effort to curb the entry of illegal immigrants, the defense ministry announced. The Israeli government approved the construction of the 250-kilometre border fence earlier this month. It is expected to cost US$365 million and will comprise fencing and other unspecified technological measures.
At the time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the influx of thousands of migrants across the border a major threat to "the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel," AFP reported.
The Israel-Egypt border has become a key transit route for labor migrants, asylum-seekers and drug smugglers.