US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has carried out an in-situ inspection of Israel’s border wall with Egypt on Tuesday this week “for ideas for the US border with Mexico, where President Donald Trump has pledged to build a wall,” Israel Radio has reported.
Israel’s border wall with Egypt.
The report said that a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed Nielsen’s visit to the Israel-Egypt border.
“She understood the challenges and opportunities that exist there,” the official said, without elaborating.
The US Department of Homeland Security declined comment. In a statement on 8 June, it had said that while travelling in Israel this week Nielsen would “receive an operational briefing on Israeli border infrastructure technology and systems”.
Trump has said the United States needs a wall along its 3,200km southern border to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the US.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angered Mexico last year by publicly backing Trump’s call and pointing to the towering, sensor-rigged Egyptian border fence as a possible model. Trump, in turn, has admired Israel’s barrier.
President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea 🇮🇱🇺🇸
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 28, 2017
The Israeli border wall is between 16 and 26 feet high, was erected over three years along the 142-mile frontier with Egypt’s Sinai desert, and cost around $380 million.
Israel credits the fence with stemming an African invasion and also with stopping the infiltration of Palestinian militants intent on attacking the Jewish ethnostate.
Besides the fence with the border with Egypt, Israel has erected a wall around the West Bank that entraps Palestinians in the occupied territory.
Israel has also sealed the Gaza Strip, imposing a brutal siege on the coastal enclave of almost two million people.