Israel completes heightening of border fence

The Ministry of Defence has completed another important phase in the project to seal Israel’s borders. 

Israel has recently concluded a massive defense project on its border with Egypt which included the heightening  of the border fence, the Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday.

The Fence Administration, headed by Brigadier General Eran Ofir, and the Department of Engineering and Construction at the Ministry of Defense completed the project in recent days.

The construction of the barrier, known as the Hourglass Project, was completed in 2014, and brought a dramatic drop in the number of cross-border infiltrations by illegal immigrants coming from Africa. In 2010, some 12,000 illegal immigrants crossed into Israel.

The 242 kilometer fence, equipped with warning systems and information collection centers, starts from Kerem Shalom, near the border with Gaza, and con southward all the way to Eilat, at Israel’s southern tip, effectively closing off the route for illegal migration from Africa into Israel.

In 2015, smugglers of weapons, drugs and human traffickers operating out of the Sinai Peninsula succeeded in partially overcoming certain areas of the barrier with the use of ladders, and the number of illegal infiltrators caught by security officials on the Israeli side of the fence rose to 213, from only 14 in 2014.

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Due to the increased number of infiltration attempts, the Ministry of Defense and the IDF decided to increase the height of the fence to prevent future illegal crossings.

In recent months, 17 km of the fence were elevated from 5 meters to 8 meters in height, and additional technological devices were added in order to expose smuggling routes from Sinai into Israel.

This new phase of the border project has again significantly curbed the flow of illegal infiltration into Israel, with only 11 successful attempts to cross the fence throughout 2016.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News