Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has said African migrants pose a greater threat to Israel than terrorism. The Israeli leader made the remarks as he complimented the country’s border ‘wall’ with Egypt.
Speaking at the Negev Conference in the Israeli city of Dimona, Netanyahu said the fence along the Israel-Egypt border is all that stands between Israel’s Jewishness and it turning into a country overrun by “infiltrators”. Without the fence, the country would be at its “wits’ end” with “attacks by terrorist groups in the Sinai, and the worst thing – a flood of illegal infiltrators from Africa,” Netanyahu said, as cited by the Times of Israel. “We’re talking about a Jewish and democratic state. How could we have guaranteed a Jewish-democratic state with 50,000 then 100,000, then 150,000 infiltrators each year?” Netanyahu remarked. Israel completed the 242-kilometer fence along its border with Egypt in late 2013, three years after commencing the project. Running from the edge of the Gaza Strip to the resort of Eilat, it is equipped with cameras as well as radar and motion detectors. In 2017, Israel increased the height of the fence from five meters to eight, along a 17 kilometer stretch of the barrier. Netanyahu’s comments echo his original explanation for erecting the border fence, which, he said in 2010, was a “strategic decision to secure Israel’s Jewish and democratic character.”