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Israel OKs Extension of High-Tech Fence Along Jordan Border

by Paul Goldman /
A panoramic view of some of the border fence Israel has completed separating Israel from Egypt (L) seen somewhere in a mountainous region of the desert in southern Israel, on 02 January 2013.MOSHE MILNER / EPA File

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TEL AVIV — Israel is set to start building a 16-foot-high fence along its eastern border with Jordan.

The 19-mile segment will stretch from the southern port city of Eilat to Timna, where a new airport will be built. It is intended to prevent radical Islamists from entering the country.

"This is important. It is part of our national security," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement issued Monday. "It joins the fence that we built along the length of our border with Sinai, which blocked the entry of illegal migrants into Israel and — of course — the various terrorist movements. This step also joins the fence that we built on our border on the Golan Heights."

The high-tech fence is part of a program to encircle the country and will cost just under $1 billion, according to Haaretz newspaper.

Related: Israel to Fortify Border Fence to Stop 'Forces of Radical Islam'

The country's Security Cabinet approved Netanyahu's proposal on Sunday.

The new segment of fence will be built entirely within Israel's borders, Netanyahu added.

"It will not, in any way, infringe on the sovereignty of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and its national interests," according to the statement.

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