In sentiments that seem to echo one of the main policy aims of Donald Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he is working to surround the entire country with fences and barriers “to defend ourselves against wild beasts” that surround the Jewish state, reported the Israeli paper Haaretz.
Netanyahu made the comments during a tour of a barrier being erected on the country’s eastern border with Jordan.
“We are preparing a multi-year project to encircle Israel with a security fence, to defend ourselves in the Middle East as it is now, and as it is expected to be,” Netanyahu stated.
“At the end, in the State of Israel, as I see it, there will be a fence that spans it all,” said Netanyahu. “I’ll be told, ‘This is what you want, to protect the villa?’ The answer is yes. Will we surround all of the State of Israel with fences and barriers? The answer is yes. In the area that we live in, we must defend ourselves against the wild beasts.”
He said the plan would take several years to complete and that besides the fence around the country his government will also work to close the breaches in the security barrier that straddles the West Bank.
“This thing costs many billions, and we’re working on a multi-year plan of prioritization so it would be spread out over years in order to gradually build it, but to complete it to defend the State of Israel,” Netanyahu added.
Israel began construction of the security barrier in 2002 at the height of the Second Palestinian Intifada, or terrorist war of shootings and suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians. That intifada was launched after PLO leader Yasser Arafat rejected an Israeli offer of a Palestinian state during U.S.-mediated negotiations in the summer of 2000.
Upon the completion of a significant continuous section of the security fence in 2003, Israel already saw a marked decrease in the number of suicide bombers able to penetrate Israeli cities.
About 95% of the barrier consists of a chain-link fence backed up by high-tech surveillance systems and not the concrete barrier routinely shown by the news media. The concrete barriers are usually only located in areas where the wall intersects with Israeli communities and roads, including areas of previous Palestinian shooting attacks.
Trump has numerous times pledged to build a wall along the nearly 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border to stem the flow of illegal aliens and criminal drug traffickers.
“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words,” Trump declared during his speech announcing his 2016 presidential bid.
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