According to The New Arab, he said the fence on Israel’s border with Egypt had prevented jihadi attacks, or what he believes could be even worse – a tide of African migrants.
“Were it not for the fence, we would be faced with severe attacks by Sinai terrorists, and something much worse – a flood of illegal migrants from Africa,” Netanyahu’s office quoted him as saying in a development conference in the southern Israeli town of Dimona.
There are currently some 42,000 African migrants in Israel.
Israel is set to expel nearly tens of thousands of Africans in a migrant relocation plan that has been described by the UN as “incoherent and unsafe”.
The plan, originally introduced in November, will see the 38,000 African migrants, mainly Eritrean and Sudanese, who have entered the country illegally, leave by the end of March.
Netanyahu said a tide of non-Jewish immigration would threaten the very fabric of Israel.
“We are talking about a Jewish and democratic state, but how could we assure a Jewish and democratic state with 50,000 and then 100,000 and 150,000 migrants a year,” Netanyahu said.