Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the final section of the security fence along the Egyptian border should be completed by the end of March.
Netanyahu attended a ceremony on Wednesday marking the completion of 230 kilometers (144 miles) of the barrier, with only approximately 12 kilometers (7 miles) left to be built.
"Work on the 12 kilometers of fence in the Eilat area is expected to be completed within three months," the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
According to the statement, the fence has already had a dramatic effect in the past year, even prior to its completion.
Israel began constructing the fence in late 2010 to stem an influx of thousands of illegal migrants through the porous border.
Furthermore, with the fall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and increasing lawlessness in the Sinai, the fence has taken on added security significance in helping stop cross-border terrorist attacks.
"For seven months, not one infiltrator has reached Israel's cities,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony. “Just as we have stopped infiltration into Israel's cities, so too will we succeed in the next mission – repatriating the tens of thousands of infiltrators in Israel to their countries of origin. We have already begun to do so.”
The fence took about two years to build and cost an estimated NIS 1.6 billion.