Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the southern Arava region Sunday, to see from up close the start of construction of the security fence along Israel's eastern border. Netanyahu sounded an urgent tone, calling for the speedy construction of the fence, preferably ahead of schedule, and promised that he would be back at the site in three months' time to check up on the progress of construction.
The first section of fence being built will stretch 30 kilometers, from Eilat to the Holot Samar area, north of Timna.
"We are starting, today, the construction of the security fence on our eastern border, which is a continuation of the security fences that we built along the fence with Egypt, and which will eventually connect with the security fence that we built in the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said.
"We are seeing today what happens to states that lose control of their borders,” he said, in a clear allusion to the influx of refugees and migrants into Europe.
Netanyahu hinted that the fence was being built with ISIS and other Islamist groups in mind. “The combination of very cruel terror that is spreading along our borders,” he said, “with work infiltrators and smugglers, as well as the loss of control in the face of a human tragedy that is taking place almost 360 degrees around us, means that we must bring back Israel's control over its borders.”
Netanyahu said that NIS 280 million had been allotted for the first section of the fence, which will also protect the new airport at Timna. “We are doing all this without infringing upon the sovereignty of Jordan, which we respect and see as a partner for protecting the border of peace.”