Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on Sunday announced that Israel plans to build a wall along its eastern border with Jordan, similar to the one currently under construction along its border with Egypt.
The government invests some 360 million U.S. dollars in a five- meter-high steel fence along its 240-kilometer-long western border, which is scheduled for completion by September.
“When the security barrier along the Egyptian border is finished, one will be built along the border with Jordan,” Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet session, Army radio said.
Both structures are intended to thwart infiltrators, whether refugees, those seeking work, smugglers, or hostile cross-border attacks.
“Israel’s border with Egypt is a border of peace,” Netanyahu said during a visit in September.
But, he continued, “To continue the peace, there must be security and to this end a fence is necessary. Its rapid construction is important for both peace and security.”
Political and defense echelon officials are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation along the Egyptian border.
“I’d define the border these days as one of tense peace … We’ ve always known that radical Islamist elements are infiltrating into Sinai,” an Eilat-area counter-terrorism expert told Xinhua in December.
In a cross-border attack along a nearby road in August, militants killed eight Israeli motorists, and wounded some 30 others. The army has since then deployed some of its crack infantry units to patrol the region and upped the number of early- warning installations. It is also considering calling up reserve units to beef-up manpower for patrols.
“The fence is an important tool that will enable us and other forces to control occurrences on the border with greater effectiveness,” the official said, but warned that without boots on the ground, the barrier itself would be “worthless.”