Construction of border fencing begins on Israel-Egypt border
(22 November 2010)
Following approval by the Israeli government in March 2010, Israel has begun work on fencing along its border with Egypt. The focus of the fencing is to further restrict irregular migration as the Israeli government has estimated an increase of over 300% in such persons entering in 2010. Israel claims 10,858 irregular migrants entered its territory between January and November 2010, up from 4,341 in 2009. One reason for this increase may be due to the closing of other migration routes into Europe, as well as the draw of potential labour for migrants within Israel. It is expected that construction of the 250 kilometres of fencing will take up to 12 months, at a cost of $372 million (£232m), including an electric fence and accompanying surveillance. Reports from human rights groups and the United Nations have also highlighted the contentious practices of Egyptian border guards in this region, who have shot dead dozens of migrants in recent years.
Source: ‘Israel starts building barrier on Egypt border’, BBC News, 22 November 2010; ‘Egypt ‘must stop’ border shooting’, BBC News, 12 November 2008