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ISRAEL ANNOUNCES NEW 'WALL' ALONG BORDER WITH EGYPT

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Israel announced the construction of a new highly-technological 266km wall along the border with Egypt, officially to impede the entry of migrants from Africa. Another new barrier was announced just a few days ago by Egypt along the border with the Gaza Strip to block arms contraband through the underground tunnels that guarantee minimal provisions to Gaza residents, isolated by an embargo for over three years. Commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA), Karen Abu Zeid, commented: "The iron barrier that Egypt is installing along the border with the Gaza Strip is produced and financed by the United States, under an agreement reached between the former US president, George Bush, and the Israeli government". The labyrinth of obstacles and barriers of various nature therefore continues to be developed around the Gaza Strip (blockaded also by Israeli ships), currently with its most imposing barrier erected for hundreds of kilometres by Israel around (and at some points inside) the West Bank, despite strong international condemnation of the "wall of shame" or of "apartheid". Egyptian Foreign minister Ahmed Abul Gheit specified that the new wall "is a purely Israeli affair" on which Egypt received no communication. For years Israel has criticised Egyptian police for failing to control the border between the Sinai and Gaza Strip, which became passage of African immigrants in search of a better life. In 2009, 17 people - mostly migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa - were killed by Egyptian security forces attempting to cross the border. [BO]