To Keep ISIS Out, Israel Plans a Fence
18-mile-long fence will be built along eastern border with Jordan
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2015 10:11 AM CDT
In this May 31, 2011, photo, a Lebanese army soldier looks at Israeli soldiers performing maintenance on the border wire fence near the Lebanese-Israeli border village of Kfar Kila.   (AP Photo/Lutfallah Daher)

(Newser) – Israel's borders with Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt are protected by a fence. Now the country has approved a plan to build an 18-mile-long fence along its eastern border with Jordan that could help prevent Islamist extremists and migrants from entering the country. The fence, to run from Eilat to Timna, will be much like the 5-foot-tall one that stretches along Israel's border with Egypt—which includes surveillance cameras, razor wire, and electronic detection, per NBC News—but will instead stretch 16 feet into the air. Benjamin Netanyahu calls it a "very important step," per the New York Times.

Thanks to poverty and unemployment in border areas, "there is danger that ISIS will be able to infiltrate," a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan says. "A lot of countries like Israel understand the only way to seal off their border is by installing a system of fences." Adds a local chairman, "The infiltrators could be illegal workers, but they could also be terrorists who will carry out attacks here." Officials fear an international airport under construction near Eilat could become a particular target for militants who might enter Israel. The fence is expected to cost about $529 million, reports Haaretz.