Hourglass project to prevent infiltrations on Israel-Egypt border

Border barrier will meet the terrorist threat, and stem drugs and weapons smuggling

Date: 28/02/2012, 4:04 PM     Author: Hadas Duvdevani

The recent events on the Israel-Egypt border, including infiltration attempts and the discovery of explosive devices, have led the Southern Command to further advance the Hourglass project, which is intended to secure the border.

The Hourglass project began against the background of terrorist and criminal activities on the Israel-Egypt border. Planning for the project began in 2005, due to the threat of terrorism from the Sinai Peninsula and the high frequency of incidents of drugs and weapons smuggling.

With Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, concerns grew about terrorists from Gaza entering Sinai and then crossing over into Israel over the peaceful border with Egypt. The Hourglass border barrier is intended to meet these new threats, and great efforts have been invested to expedite the project's completion.

"If for years there have been widespread smuggling activities, we are now fighting that," said an IDF officer. "In the eyes of the IDF, criminal operations are terrorist operations, in all senses."