Israeli fence construction cuts off migration from Egypt

From Global development | The Guardian Mon Dec 31 2012, 17:42:59

Number of migrants crossing border drops to zero as vast steel fence from Eilat to Gaza border nears completion

The number of migrants crossing the border between Egypt and Israel dropped to zero last week for the first time since 2006, as construction of the last small sections of a 150-mile fence is due to be completed in the coming weeks.

A total of 36 migrants crossed into Israel from Egypt in December, all of whom were detained, compared with 2,295 in January. The numbers have steadily declined throughout 2012 as construction of the vast steel fence through the desert from Eilat to the border with Gaza has progressed.

"We have succeeded in blocking the phenomenon of illegal infiltrators," said the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. "It has been several months now that no infiltrator has reached [the Israeli cities of] Eilat, Be'er Sheva, Tel Aviv or any Israeli community."

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