JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will build a fence on its border with Egypt to prevent the infiltration of terrorists and migrant workers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday ordered the construction of a barrier fence along its southern border at a cost of more than $270 million.
Thousands of migrants have entered Israel through its Egyptian border in recent years.
Netanyahu said he decided to close Israel’s southern border to infiltrators and terrorists after prolonged discussions with government ministries and "professional elements."
"This is a strategic decision to ensure the Jewish and democratic character of the State of Israel," the prime minister said in a statement released by his office. "Israel will remain open to war refugees, but we cannot allow thousands of illegal workers to infiltrate into Israel via the southern border and flood our country."
In the first stage, fences will be built along the border south of the Gaza Strip and north of Eilat. In addition, technological measures, such as electronic surveillance, will be put in operation along the entire border.