Yaalon with Netayahu
Yaalon with NetayahuHaim Zach, Flash 90

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Sunday that Israel needed a fence in sensitive areas, to prevent becoming a victim of refugee “invasion,” such as is occurring in Europe. Yaalon was speaking Sunday evening at the site of the construction of a new fence between southeastern Jordan and southern Israel.

What is happening in Europe could have happened to us, had we not behaved in an intelligent manner,” said Yaalon. “The first thing that the Prime Minister did when he was elected two terms ago was to build the security system in the south in order to keep out infiltrators.

Now we are building a fence on our eastern border,” said Yaalon. “The fence will keep out migrants seeking work, as well as terrorists and smugglers,” he added.

In the wake of recent events, he added, Israel has also strengthened its fence on the Golan. “We have helped over 1,000 people injured in civil war fighting in Syria and we have assisted with food packages and supplies,” said Yaalon. “This is our contribution to the humanitarian effort to help these people.” The Negev, he said, was the last area of the country that was unprotected by a fence, but that would soon change.

Israel and Jordan had good relations, Yaalon added – but that did not obviate the need for a fence. “Good fences make good neighbors, and indeed we have good relations with our neighbors,” he said. “Despite both sides' efforts to prevent it, migrants or terrorists are still able to cross the border. As such, it's good that we have a barrier that will enable us to carry out missions in a more efficient manner.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who visited the site with Yaalon, said that the first section of fence being built will stretch 30 kilometers, from Eilat to the Holot Samar area, north of Timna.

"We are starting, today, the construction of the security fence on our eastern border, which is a continuation of the security fences that we built along the fence with Egypt, and which will eventually connect with the security fence that we built in the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said.

"We are seeing today what happens to states that lose control of their borders,” he said, in a clear allusion to the influx of refugees and migrants into Europe.