Main section of Israel’s border fence with Egypt is completed

The main section of Israel's border fence with Egypt, meant to keep infiltrators from entering the country, has been completed.

The nearly 150-mile stretch of fence took two years to construct at a cost of about $430 million, the Israeli Defense Ministry said. The final nearly 12-mile section of the border fence in the mountainous region near Eilat will be completed by May.

The border includes electronic surveillance equipment such as cameras and radar.

The Israeli government ordered the construction of the fence in July 2010 to stop thousands of illegal migrants from crossing into the country each year, as well as to halt the smuggling of drugs and weapons and terror attacks.

More than 10,000 infiltrators entered Israel during 2012, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement released this week. Some 3,920 infiltrators from Africa left Israel in 2012. In addition, all infiltrators who entered Israel since June were sent directly to holding facilities and not to Israeli cities, according to the statement.

“For seven months, not one infiltrator has reached Israel's cities,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday during a ceremony at the fence to mark its completion. “Just as we have stopped infiltration into Israel's cities, so too will we succeed in the next mission — repatriating the tens of thousands of infiltrators in Israel to their countries of origin. We have already begun to do so.”

He added, “We also need to complete the work on the country's other borders.”

Israeli troops kill infiltrator from Egypt

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a man attempting to infiltrate into Israel from Egypt.

The soldiers early Tuesday morning spotted a group of about 15 infiltrators into Israel who failed to stop when asked by the Israeli troops. The infiltrators fired on the Israeli soldiers, who returned fire, striking one of the infiltrators, who died in the field, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman said in a statement.

It is unclear if the group were terrorists or smugglers, according to reports.

The IDF has increased its activity along Israel’s western border in light of increased infiltration attempts, according to the IDF statement.

This incident occurred in the same area where a bag containing a large explosive device was discovered a week ago. On Monday, Israeli troops thwarted an attempt to place a large explosive on the border between Israel and Egypt that was likely meant to blow up an Israeli army patrol.

“Smuggling and infiltration into Israel from its western border is used by terror organizations to execute terror attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,” the statement said. “The IDF will continue to operate against anyone that poses a threat to the security of the State of Israel and its residents.”