Sharon Pledges to End Smuggling Across Egyptian Border

Mofaz presents NIS 3 billion plan to fortify border with military positions, sensors and fences.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Tuesday toured Israel's southern borders with Lebanon and Jordan and pledged to strengthen the borders to halt the smuggling of weapons, drugs, illegal workers and prostitutes.

Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz also participated in the tour.

Mofaz presented a plan to launch a NIS 3 billion shekel program designed to fortify the border with fences, sensors and military positions.

The prime minister said "the mission of our forces is to stop the border crossings, not to reduce them. There is no difference between a criminal infiltration and a security infiltration."

Sharon added that this was an immediate and urgent task. "It is important that everybody connected to border security will participate."