Less than half of border fence to be built by 2012

Defense officials say recent increase in infiltrations part of effort by African migrants to reach Israel before fence completed.

November 9, 2011 01:28
1 minute read.
Soldiers patrolling the Egyptian border [file]

Egypt border 311. (photo credit: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters)

The Defense Ministry has completed the construction of 65 kilometers of fence along the border with Egypt in the face of a significant increase in the number of infiltrations by African migrants.

According to statistics obtained on Tuesday, an additional 40 km. will be erected by the end of this year, and the section of 230 km. slated for closure will be completed by September 2012.

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The government had initially planned to complete the project by the end of 2013, but Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Shani decided several months ago to hire a number of contractors to work simultaneously in a bid to speed up the project.

Defense officials said that the increase in infiltrations in recent months was understood to be part of an effort by African migrants interested in reaching Israel to do so before the fence is completed. None of the infiltrations have occurred where there is a fence currently in place. The IDF recently sent troops from the Golani and Givati Infantry Brigades to try and climb the 5-meter fence, and they failed.

In addition to the actual physical barrier, and due to the growing terror threat Israel faces from Sinai, the Defense Ministry is also planning to deploy sophisticated radar systems along the border that will be able to alert IDF troops to potential infiltrations before an infiltrator actually reaches the fence.

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