Israel to Erect Egypt Border Wall

Netanyahu: We'll preserve our 'Jewish, democratic' character
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Jan 11, 2010 5:17 AM CST
The dress of an African girl caught in the Israel/Egypt border fence in 2007.   (AP Photo/Yonathan Weitzman)

(Newser) – Israel plans to build a wall along its border with Egypt in a bid to stem the flow of migrants and militants. The $270 million structure will block two main routes along the frontier and use advanced surveillance equipment. "This is a strategic decision to secure Israel's Jewish and democratic character," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the BBC. Israeli officials say up to 200 illegal migrants sneak through each week.

Netanyahu said Israel would remain open to refugees, but cautioned against "illegal aliens." "We cannot let tens of thousands of illegal workers infiltrate into Israel through the southern border and inundate our country," he said. In 2004, The Hague deemed Israel's Gaza barrier was illegal. Egyptian officials, however, said they would not object to the new wall as long as it was built on Israeli soil.

(Read more Israel stories.)

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