Israel is set to begin construction of a barrier along its border with Egypt on Monday, after years of deliberations and politicians' warnings regarding the ease and danger of infiltration.
The NIS 1.35 billion project is intended to stem the entry of migrant workers as well as of terrorist elements into Israel.
Dozens of engineers will set out across various points along the border to begin preparing the ground for construction. In addition to the barrier, Israel is also planning an electronic fence based on sensors and advanced surveillance technology.
Israel's Population and Immigration Authority reported earlier this month that some 700 illegal migrants infiltrated through the Egypt-Israel border on a weekly basis, a record number.
That reflects an increase of some 300% since the beginning of 2010, according to the report, which put the total number of infiltrators from January to November at 10,858 people. In 2009, 4,341 migrants were recorded.
Fewer than 200 asylum seekers have reportedly been granted refugee status in Israel. In 2008, Israel recognized the asylum claim of just one refugee, and in 2009 only two.
In a memorial to former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion over a week ago, Netanyahu referred to the long-planned barrier as "our obligation and our right, to protect the State of Israel."
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