Israel is set to build security fencing
along its border with Egypt, according to Israeli media.
Haaretz reports that the country's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has kick-started the stalled project to erect fencing along the Egyptian border that originally began in July. Budgeting issues have delayed the development.
"The problem of illegal infiltrators in the south presents a threat to the Jewish and democratic character of Israel," Netanyahu was reported as saying.
Intended to prevent Islamic militants, narcotics dealers, migrants and asylum seekers, the barrier is an attempt to stem the Israeli estimate of 1,000 people entering the country from Egypt illegally every month, the news source said.
"I want to see actual results of the beginning of a barrier on the ground within the coming weeks. In four weeks, the cabinet will be meeting again and will hear the defence establishment's report on the matter," the prime minister was reported as saying.
Human rights organisations in Israel said Netanyahu showed "particularly short historic memory" in failing to make a distinction between refugees and asylum seekers, given that Israel was created by refugees.
"Many of those arriving in Israel over the Egyptian border are asylum seekers, escaping atrocities in their own land," Civil Rights Association Israel and the Hotline for Migrant Workers said in a joint statement.