A barrier will be built along the border with Egypt over a period of several years.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this evening (Sunday), 10 January 2010, decided to close Israel’s southern border to infiltrators and terrorists by building a barrier along the border with Egypt. Construction of the barrier will cost approximately NIS 1 billion and will be spread over a period of several years.
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "I decided to close Israel’s southern border to infiltrators and terrorists after prolonged discussions with Government ministries and professional elements. This is a strategic decision to ensure the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel. Israel will remain open to war refugees but we cannot allow thousands of illegal workers to infiltrate into Israel via the southern border and flood our country."
 
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Finance minister Yuval Steinitz, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, IDF Deputy Chief-of-Staff Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz and the Deputy Attorney General attended this evening’s discussion. They were presented with the fundamental preparatory work that was carried out by the security establishment on the issue of the ground barrier along the border with Egypt. The integrated solution that was presented is based on both a fence and technological measures.
 
According to the security establishment’s proposed solution, in the first stage, fences will be built along the sections of the border south of the Gaza Strip and north of Eilat. At the same time, technological measures will be deployed along the entire border that will allow for the location of infiltrators and hazards in a timely fashion.
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu adopted the security establishment recommendation and directed that budgetary sources for its construction be agreed upon within two weeks. He also instructed the Justice Ministry to formulate in the coming weeks assertive draft legislation against employers of illegal workers.