Daily Israel Report

Work on Southern Border Fence to Begin This Month

As work begins to reinforce anti-infiltrator fence, Israel looks for African countries willing to "purchase" expelled illegals.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/1/2010, 11:38 AM / Last Update: 11/1/2010, 12:56 PM

Flash 90

The Ministry of Defense stated Sunday that construction work on the security fence between Israel and Egypt will begin this month.

In the course of a weekend meeting of the Diplomacy-Security Cabinet, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed government ministries to try and find African countries that would be willing to take in the illegal immigrants that Israel expels, in return for financial compensation.

No country has yet agreed to take in the infiltrators.

An expert on demography told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service that Netanyahu's proposal is not unlike France's way of dealing with the gypsy population. Prof. Sergio Della Pergola of the Hebrew University said, “It is a little like what [French president Nicola] Sarkozy did with the gypsies: he sent planes to Romania with gypsy immigrants [on board] and paid each immigrant 300 Euro.”

“And this was done in enlightened France,” Della Pergola added sarcastically.

The demographer said there was “a bit of a paradox” in the construction of the anti-infiltrator fence. “On the one hand, one needs to prevent the entry of refugees and terrorists through the border. But on the other hand, it is actually a good sign that the border between Israel and Egypt is an open one, because it shows that there are no hostile incidents between the two countries.”

Della Pergola said it was no coincidence that the infiltrators choose to head for Israel. “No one wants to take them in, but there is mostly an economic reason – they want to reach a free country like Israel; out of all the countries in Asia and the Middle East, they want to come here, but the problem is that these immigrants compete with Israelis for the same jobs and hurt us in the long run.”   

Egyptian border guards shot and killed a Sudanese person who was trying to infiltrate into Israel on Saturday. A security source told Chinese news agency Xinhua that the guards had called out a warning to the infiltrator and his group before opening fire. Two other infiltrators were arrested, and the others escaped.

Sri Lankans in Israel
Meanwhile, 300 seasonal agricultural sector workers from Sri Lanka will receive employment in Israel, in addition to the 5,000 already legally employed in the country, according to the Consul General of Israel in Sri Lanka, Wicky Wickramatunge.

Wickramatunge told Britain's Sunday Observer that besides receiving jobs, the Sri Lankans would be gaining exposure to advanced Israeli agricultural technology.