Israel to build barrier on Egyptian border
* From correspondents in New York
* From: AFP
* November 22, 2010 7:21AM
ISRAEL is to begin work on building a huge barrier along its southern
border with Egypt today in a bid to curb the entry of illegal
"Tomorrow dozens of heavy engineering vehicles will be deployed at
points along the Israel-Egypt border and will begin construction of the
physical barrier," the defence ministry said today.
The Israeli Government approved the construction of the 250km border
fence in March. It's expected to cost $US365 million ($370 million) and
will comprise fencing and other unspecified technological measures.
At the time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the influx of
thousands of migrants across the border a major threat to "the Jewish
and democratic character of the State of Israel".
The Israel-Egypt border has become a major transit route for economic
migrants, asylum-seekers and drug smugglers, and Israel has urged Egypt
to clamp down on the traffic.
Egyptian border guards often shoot at African migrants who pay
smugglers for passage into the Jewish state to escape poverty and look
for work, and many have been killed.
The New York-based group Human Rights Watch last month urged Egypt to
stop shooting migrants, saying its security forces have killed at least
85 migrants trying to cross into Israel since 2007.