A record-high number of 16,000 African migrants infiltrated illegally crossed into Israel from Egypt in 2011, according to the IDF. In 2010, in comparison, 14,000 Africans crossed into Israel.
The IDF believes that the number will continue to increase as construction of the border fence nears completion. 100 kilometers of the fence have already been completed and the remaining 120 km is expected to be done by the end of 2012.
The illegal African migrants who come to Israel in search of work mostly cross in along the sand dunes not far from the Gaza Strip and in the area surrounding Eilat.
"They know that this might be the last opportunity so the numbers are increasing," a senior IDF officer said.
After the fence is completed along Israel's border with Egypt, expectations are that the migrant workers will try to cross into Israel via the Jordanian border, which the government plans to begin closing off with a fence as well after it completes the current border project.