While Israel is not "indifferent' to the tragedy of refugees from Syria and Africa, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asserted on Sunday, it does not have the resources to absorb them into the small Jewish state.
"Israel is a small country, a very small country, that lacks demographic and geographic depth; therefore, we must control our borders, against both illegal migrants and terrorism," Netanyahu told ministers at his weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
Despite taking measures to prevent infiltrators from entering, the Prime Minister noted that Israel has "already devotedly cared for approximately 1,000 wounded people from the fighting in Syria and we have helped them to rehabilitate their lives."
In addition, "We are speaking with African heads of state, and with the Italian Prime Minister recently and with other European leaders, about multi-lateral aid packages for the countries of origin in Africa…in order to deal with the problem at its source."
Netanyahu noted Israel's plans to begin immediate construction on a fence along its eastern border with Jordan between Eilat and Timna, which would eventually stretch all the way to the Golan Heights.
"To the extent that it is possible we will encompass Israel's borders with a security fence and barriers that will allow us to control our borders," Netanyahu stressed. "We will not allow Israel to be flooded with illegal migrants and terrorists."
The Prime Minister also addressed the near-lynch against Jewish worshippers in Hevron at the end of last week.
"It is the relentless Palestinian incitement that created the atmosphere for murdering Jews and Israelis," Netanyahu emphasized.
"Luckily for the group of Israelis, there were some individual Palestinians there who did the humanitarian and obvious thing and rescued them, and we appreciate this. But I call on Mahmoud Abbas to stop the incitement and condemn the attempted lynch and act against it."
"We are just ahead of the fall holidays. We will do our utmost so that Jews will be able to go everywhere safely, especially to the Tomb of the Patriarchs," the Prime Minister added.
Netanyahu concluded the Cabinet meeting by wishing "the entire Jewish people – especially the soldiers of the IDF, who are defending our borders and our security – a happy New Year."