PM sets summer 2012 as completion date for Egypt fence
Work on barrier has already dramatically reduced number of infiltrators, from some 1,200 a month in 2010, to 1,237 so far this year.
By HERB KEINON
The fence along the 240- km. border with Egypt will be completed by the summer of 2012, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on a tour of the area Tuesday, saying he also wanted to see a similar physical barrier built along the border with Jordan.Netanyahu flew down by helicopter to an area along the border, about an hour’s drive north of Eilat, which he had visited three-and-ahalf months ago. At that time, work was just beginning on the barrier, while this time he looked out to see a 5-meter metal fence, covered with barbed wire, being erected along the border.According to figures presented to Netanyahu, work on the barrier has already dramatically reduced the number of infiltrators, bringing the numbers down from some 1,200 infiltrators a month in 2010 to some 1,237 so far this year.Netanyahu said the barrier – which, in addition to the physical component, includes electronic devices and beefed-up IDF patrols – was necessary to stem the flood of infiltrators, and also to block the path of terrorist and criminal elements trying to get into the country through Sinai.The prime minister said there would be no problem with funding of the barrier.He said he had told the IDF to build the fence, and “the money will be there.”Netanyahu also said he had told the IDF to begin preparations for building a similar barrier along the long border with Jordan. In private meetings, Netanyahu has said this is necessary, since once the fence with Egypt is erected, the smugglers and infiltrators will look for alternate routes and naturally seek to enter Israel from the east.According to government figures, some 40 km. of the planned 230-km. fence has been completed.This was Netanyahu’s third visit to look at the Egyptian border, and he said he now planned to visit every threeand- a-half months to see the progress on the fence.
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