The Corner

Where’s the Fence?

Another industrialized country is building a fence to keep out illegal aliens from the south:

Israel’s prime minister has ordered the construction of two massive fences along the long and porous southern border with Egypt, saying he wants to stem a growing flood of African asylum seekers and to prevent Islamic militants from entering the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the structure would help preserve Israel’s Jewish majority, while providing a layer of protection along an open border with an area suspected of having an al-Qaida presence.

“I decided to close Israel’s southern border to infiltrators and terrorists after prolonged discussions,” he said in a statement. “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,” he said. . . .

The military began planning the fence in 2005 after Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip, fearing that militants would freely travel to Egypt and sneak into Israel. These concerns were underscored in early 2007, when a Gaza suicide bomber sneaked into Eilat through Egypt.

But the massive influx of African migrants into Israel in recent years has given the project added momentum. U.N. officials and human rights workers estimate some 17,000 to 19,000 people have poured into Israel through the southern border since 2005, most of them from Eritrea, Sudan and other war-torn African countries, searching for a better life in Israel’s relatively affluent Western-style society.

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