U.S. Wants Israeli Border Fence Technologies

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

Many, the United States included, have criticized the barrier fence Israel has built along the West Bank, but that hasn’t stopped the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from seeking the experience of Elbit Systems, who helped build the fence, to assist it in coping with trouble of its own.

2005 saw an initiative to secure the U.S. western border in an effort that is to cost billions of U.S. dollars. The fence was meant to cover the whole southern border with control towers equipped with radars and cameras, but the Department of Homeland Security has abandoned the plan in 2011, after realizing that contract’s details are not suited for the conditions in the south. Deployment of cameras and radars in highly populated areas has proven ineffective.

Now, in order to replace the former plan, DHS seniors claim that they are interested in forming a new plan. The idea is to set several smart watch towers, only where it makes sense – where they would be useful, that is. The aim of the border surveillance system is to spot and help responders stamp out illicit activity, such as human trafficking and drug smuggling. Now there is video surveillance displayed on the border police’s computers screens.

For the past two weeks, Border Patrol personnel have been checking out the comfort and accuracy of the system, seeing if the sensors detect all objects in their surroundings, even objects laying on the ground. The Border Patrol has the final say-so on whether the government should take ownership of the system from developer Elbit Systems of America, Israel’s Elbit System’s subsidiary. A DHS official acknowledged the company’s experience constructing sensor technology for a wall in the Palestinian West Bank factored into the decision to sign with Elbit.

The first series of pillars in Arizona, costing $23 million, has already been built and tested. Along with video cameras, the towers are supplemented by an array of surveillance gear, including cameras on trucks and ground sensors.It is likely that in the future these pillars will be stationed in some areas in New Mexico, where illegal activities are also taking place.

the system should be able to automatically flag and track humans traveling on foot, atop an animal or in a moving vehicle. It is meant to deal with the issues of the many immigrants entering into U.S. territory as well as trespassers – matters which have taken center stage in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Subscribe to our newsletter.