Israel has completed its “smart” fence project on the southern border with Egypt along the Sinai Peninsula, according to the Fence Administration, headed by Brigadier General Eran Ofir and the Department of Engineering and Construction at the Ministry of Defense.
The construction of the original barrier, known as the Hourglass Project, was completed in 2014 at a height of five meters. But that wasn’t high enough to keep out all the infiltrators, although it did slow the flood down to a crawl.
The 242 kilometer fence, equipped with warning systems and information collection centers, was built between Kerem Shalom and Eilat and subsequently brought to a stop the flow of illegal migration from Africa into Israel.
In 2015, however, smugglers from Sinai succeeded in partially overcoming certain areas of the barrier and the number of infiltrators suspended by security officials on the Israeli side of the fence rose to 213. Due to the increased number of infiltration attempts, the Ministry of Defense and the IDF decided to increase the height of the fence as a way to prevent future illegal crossings.
The project was assigned to the Fence Administration and the Ministry of Defense Department of Engineering and Construction.
In recent months, 17 kilometers of the fence were elevated from five meters to eight meters.
In addition, new “smart” technology was built in as well, in order to uncover smuggling routes from Sinai into Israel, and to more effectively detect infiltrators.
The project, completed over the last few days, has already significantly curbed the flow of illegal infiltration into Israel, with only 11 successful attempts to cross the fence throughout 2016, officials said.Hana Levi Julian