CAIRO - A decision by the Jewish state to build a security barrier along the Israeli-Egyptian border is a purely Israeli affair, the foreign ministry in Cairo said yesterday.
"It is an Israeli affair," which does not concern Egypt, foreign ministry spokesperson Hossam Zaki said.
The Israeli government on Sunday approved theconstruction of three barriers along the two countries' common 250km desert frontier to curb the infiltration of illegal immigrants.
The project, which was put forward by the military, was expected to cost more than R7,3billion, an Israeli government official said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting Israel would continue to allow entry for asylum seekers - most of whom come from Darfur - but would not flood the country with illegalworkers.
The Israel-Egypt border has become a major transit route for migrants, asylum-seekers and drug smugglers and Israel has asked Egypt to clamp down on the traffic.
Egypt's policy of shooting migrants has generated harsh criticism from human rights groups. Police killed 20 migrants last year along the border.
Cairo is separately building an underground barrier along Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip in a bid to stem smuggling into the impoverished blockaded coastal enclave.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit implicitly confirmed the construction last month, following reports in Israeli and Egyptian newspapers.
A network of tunnels beneath the Egypt-Gaza border provides a crucial economic lifeline to Gaza, which has been sealed off from all but vital humanitarian aid by Israel and Egypt since Hamas took power in June 2007. - Sapa-AFP