Israel Completes 245 Mile, NIS 1.6 Billion Security Fence Along Sinai Border with Egypt
After three-and-a-half years of construction and decades of border infiltrations, the last section of the Sinai border fence between Israel and Egypt has finally been completed. Spanning 245 miles, from Rafah to Eilat, the final cost of the fence came in at NIS 1.6 billion ($450 million), one of the largest projects in recent Israeli history.
The first 230 miles of fence were completed within a couple of years. However, it took another year and a half to build the remaining 15 miles, the southwestern border between Israel and Egypt. The reason for this lag time was the harsh topography of the area near Eilat, characterized by deep valleys and hard rock. This particular section also happened to be the most popular infiltration route.
“Hundreds entered through here,” said the administrative head of the Defense Ministry, Brigadier General Eran Ofir.
Initially, the purpose of the fence was to prevent the flow of illegal immigrants from Africa. While the fence proved successful in keeping them out, the Sinai Peninsula then developed into a hub for terrorists from all over the world, necessitating a more secure system of fencing to be implemented.
While the fence will not prevent the firing of Grad rockets from the Sinai Peninsula, it will greatly complicate terror cells’ ability to launch attacks inside of Israeli territory. “Today we are able to produce better intelligence on terrorist activities,” said Deputy commander of the Southern Command Col. Aviv Reshef.