The project would be overseen by the military, which has been
conducting a pilot program to determine security requirements. Officials
said a key problem would be the construction of a barrier on shifting sands
with high winds.
Officials said the entire barrier would cost 1.35 billion shekel, or
$371 million, and was designed to stop massive infiltration from neighboring
Egypt. They said tens of thousands of Sudanese migrants have been flowing
into Israel, particularly in the south.
In the second stage, the Defense Ministry would equip the barrier with
sensors and cameras. Officials said the Israeli military would also employ
aerial reconnaissance along the border, including unmanned aerial vehicles
"The construction, beginning only a few months after the governmental
decision, was made possible due to quick planning and bidding," Shani said.
The Interior Ministry has been lobbying the government to construct a
prison for illegal migrants. The ministry said 1,100 infiltrators per month
were entering southern Israel from Egypt. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have also
sought to build border barriers in the desert.
"The building project will start by focusing on a few select points
along the border, with the aid of many engineering instruments, which will
prepare the land for construction," the Israeli military said.
The military said the fence would span 240 kilometers from Keren Shalom
in the north until Taba in the south. Parts of the border would comprise
only a physical barrier, while others would also contain sensors.
"Due to the difficult terrain in the area, which includes quicksand,
strong winds and extreme weather, the [military's] Technological and
Logistics Directorate will be aided by geology experts from Israel and
overseas," the military said on Nov. 22. "Given that so far a complex
construction project has yet to be built on the shifting sands of Israel,
the IDF construction center has tested various alternatives from all over of
the world with the help of industry and security experts."