Officials said 45 kilometers of the barrier were built over the past
eight months. They said another 100 kilometers were scheduled to be built by
the end of 2011 with the remaining 130 kilometers set for completion by
"Israel's border with Egypt is a border of peace," Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, in a tour of the border on Sept. 13, said. "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."
The prime contractor of the project was identified as Magna
Technologies. The Israeli defense company said the barrier would include
radars to monitor ground movement for several kilometers.
"I believe that recent events will accelerate the process of
constructing the fence," Magna chief executive officer Haim Siboni,
referring to an attack from Sinai in August 2011, said. "But
this has been a long process of tests and checks over the past seven years."
Siboni said the system was designed to contain a low rate of false
alarms. He said the radar could identify details in objects.
Officials said the Defense Ministry has accelerated the project amid the
threat of Al Qaida and Hamas attacks from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. They said
the completion of the project was moved from 2013 to 2012.
The Israeli military has also deployed unmanned aerial vehicles to
patrol the Egyptian border. The Navy was assigned to intensify surveillance
over the waters of the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
"Their observers are in direct contact with the ships," Israel Navy Cpt.
Or Dvir said. "They know everything: who is at sea, who is coming home,
where they are going and why. And if a mark on the radar isn't recognized,
the observers send ships to identify it."