JERUSALEM:Israel has approved extending a security barrier to part of its eastern border with Jordan in a bid to keep out militants and illegal migrants, the prime minister's office said Monday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the new barrier was a continuation of the one built along the Egyptian border, which “blocked the entry of illegal migrants into Israel and the various terrorist movements”.
UN figures have shown Israel is home to about 53,000 African refugees and asylum seekers, most of whom entered the country illegally through the border with Egypt.
Netanyahu also referred to a steel fence that runs along the Syrian frontier through the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The fence was built after the Syrian civil war broke out to prevent a potential spillover of fighting or influx of refugees.
The new 30-kilometre (19-mile) barrier has been accepted by the government's security cabinet.
It is to be built along Israel's eastern border between Eilat and where a new Timna airport will be built, a statement read.
Work has already begun on the new airport north of Eilat, the southernmost Israeli resort city located across the Jordanian border from the port city of Aqaba.
Netanyahu's office stressed that Israel was in contact with Jordan over the fence, which will be built solely on Israeli soil.
Israel also has a separation barrier that runs through the occupied West Bank, which it began building during the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, which lasted from 2000-2005. – AFP