The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, chaired by Knesset Member Roni Bar-On (Kadima) conducted an extensive tour of the Israeli-Egyptian border and the ”Saharonim” facility for infiltrators. Committee members received in-depth reviews from the commander, General Tal Russo and other officers in command, including the commanders of intelligence and engineering in charge of the border`s fence-building project.
Committee Chairman Bar-On said during the tour, ”The fence is being built at a noticeably impressive pace. According to the pace presented today, the IDF should successfully complete the project in half the time given to it. It should be remembered that the responsibility and policies for preventing continued entrance of infiltrators into Israel is from the political leadership and not the IDF, and until recently, guidelines on the subject were unclear. The cost of building the fence stands at 2 million shekel, but patience is required from all of us until construction is complete and the number of infiltrators dramatically reduced. Today, it is clear that Egypt`s security issues in Sinai are only their third priority; Egypt puts most of its efforts into the Cairo sector.”
MK Ariel Eldad (Ichud Haleumi) claimed that ”As long as the IDF does not receive new policy orders to open-fire, where everyone approaching the border will be shot, infiltrators will continue to enter Israel.”
MK Amir Peretz (Labor) mentioned the pace of the fence project. ”We were impressed with the construction pace. It looks like the systems will finally work in synchrony. Despite this, it is clear that the threats from the Sinai are only expanding; we are dealing with a security issue combined with a severe social problem of infiltrator penetration.”
MK Motz Matlon (Yisrael Beitenu) claimed that the fence, in light of the current situation, should have been up and working years ago. The State of Israel, he says, needs to understand that a very significant terrorist threat is growing in the Sinai.
According to MK Ofir Akunis (Likud), after Israel completes the fence along the border with Egypt, it should start building a fence along the border with Jordan until at least the Dead Sea. The Prime Minister made a decision on the subject, but a project has yet to be budgeted.
MK Miri Regev (Likud) claimed that the Minister of Defense must immediately approve orders which will prevent the continued exit of infiltrators from the ”Saharonim” facility to the state`s center. We must operate quickly, she said, to prevent the continued immigration of thousands of infiltrators.
MK Yitzhak Herzog (Labor) noted, ”The IDF clearly relates to the fence construction as a national project in every way. The South has turned into a security arena, coupled with the main task of eradicating the phenomenon of infiltrators from Africa.”