Israel's Netanyahu likens Islamists to 'wild beasts'

By ISHAAN THAROOR | The Washington Post | Published: February 10, 2016

On a tour of his country's southern desert border with Jordan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a proposal to erect a barrier around the country to protect it from militant infiltration.

"In our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts," Netanyahu declared.

The plan is projected to cost some $75 million and is primarily aimed at countering the inroads made by the militant group Hamas, which has steadily built a network of tunnels into the embattled Gaza Strip.

"At the end of the day as I see it, there will be a fence like this one surrounding Israel in its entirety. We will surround the entire state of Israel with a fence, a barrier," said the Israeli leader.

These measures are being planned at the same time as the Israeli state is also seeking to buttress its own fortifications within the West Bank, including the controversial separation wall that runs through whole sections of occupied Palestinian territory as well as defenses around Israeli settlements.

Netanyahu often indulges in this sort of rhetoric and has repeatedly cast his nation as a "beacon" of light surrounded by a dark, shadowy and troubled Arab world. Ahead of his reelection last year, his Likud party ran numerous ads warning of Islamic State militants in jeeps zooming into the country.


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