Netanyahu: We Will Surround Israel With Walls 'To Defend Against Wild Beasts'

Wall Israel Palestinians Lebanon Syria West Bank Netanyahu
A Palestinian girl walks in front of a section of the Israeli barrier in al-Ram in the West Bank on the outskirts of Jerusalem, May 25, 2011. Baz Ratner/Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that the government is in the planning stages of a multi-year project to surround the entirety of Israel with security barriers to defend against what he called “wild beasts” in the region.

“At the end, in the State of Israel, as I see it, there will be a fence that spans it all. I’ll be told, ‘This is what you want, to protect the villa?’ The answer is yes,” said Netanyahu, according to Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz.

“Will we surround all of the State of Israel with fences and barriers? The answer is yes. In the area that we live in, we must defend ourselves against the wild beasts.”

His comments came during a visit to Israel’s southern border with Jordan, where he was viewing the first stage of the planned security barrier that will stretch across the entirety of Israel’s eastern border.

Israel is surrounded by a number of Arab states and territories, namely Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli leader added that the construction plan will include closing the breaches in the separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank.

“This thing costs many billions, and we’re working on a multi-year plan of prioritization so it would be spread out over years in order to gradually build it, but to complete it to defend the State of Israel,” he said.

Palestinians in the West Bank have traveled into Israel without the requisite permits to carry out attacks against Israelis while Israel still faces the threat of Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

The Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) have carried out cross-border attacks against Israel from southern Lebanon and southern Syria respectively.

In southern Israel, there are fears of a cross-border attack by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) affiliate known as the Sinai Province and in eastern Israel, the security barrier is being extended to prevent the effects of the Syrian civil war spilling over onto Israeli territory.