Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to build a 15ft fence to surround the whole of Israel, saying that the country must “protect itself from wild beasts”.
The Israeli Prime Minister appeared to use the extraordinary phrase – which has also been translated as “predators” – to describe both Palestinians and the people of neighbouring Arab states.
Mr Netanyahu was speaking during a tour of a newly-completed security fence along the border with Jordan near the southern Red Sea city of Eilat.
During his walkabout on the Jordanian border on Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu was asked about the feasibility of extended the security fence to span the whole country.
The 18-mile stretch he was visiting, between Eilat and a new airport being built by Israel, is costing around £53 million. Scaling that up for the estimated 663-mile length of all Israel’s borders, such a project would cost something like £1.9 billion.
The Prime Minister admitted the fence would cost “many billions”, but said it was a “multi-year plan” that was necessary “to defend ourselves in the Middle East as it is now, and as it is expected to be”.
Last year, Mr Netanyahu was forced to apologise for offending Israeli Arabs in the run-up to the country’s elections, when he warned his supporters that “the Arabs are voting in droves”.
Yet he himself took issue with Donald Trump’s comments about keeping Muslims out of America, releasing a statement saying he “rejects [Trump’s] recent remarks” and “respects all religions”.
-More at Independent