If Republican Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, at least one company will be looking to cash in on his incendiary plan to build a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border: an Israeli firm in the business of border fences that has made part of its fortune walling in Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Magal Security Systems Ltd., founded in the 1960s as a division of the Israeli Aerospace Industry and later privatized, specializes in so-called “smart fences” and border security systems. Its claim to fame includes Israeli walls around the Gaza Strip that restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, as well as barricades along Egypt’s and Jordan’s borders.
The company’s president and CEO, Saar Koursh, told Bloomberg that Magal is already eyeing up potential business building a 1,000-mile wall under a hypothetical Trump White House.
“We would join forces with a major U.S. defense company that has experience with such projects worldwide,” he told Bloomberg. “We’ve done it in the past and we would definitely want to do it.”
And according to Koursh, business is booming.
“The border business was down, but then came ISIS and the Syrian conflict,” he continued. “The world is changing and borders are coming back big-time.”
Hungary, for example, jumped on the border fence bandwagon last year with strong anti-immigration sentiments amid the migrant crisis that has seen a steady stream of hundreds of thousands of migrants—mostly fleeing war, conflict, and persecution in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq—pour into Europe. Belgrade quickly built the 110-mile, 13-foot high wall despite criticism over the fence imperiling migrants and putting stress on neighboring countries less equipped to deal with an influx in migrants. The Hungarian Defence Force was responsible for the wall’s construction.
Now, Magal is eying up an even larger project in Kenya, where the government plans to build a US$1.54 trillion, 425-mile long wall guarding Nairobi’s Mombasa port.
Trump has said his proposed border wall plan would cost US$12 billion. Other estimates have put the price tag much higher.
Bloomberg previously reported that a Mexican cement company would be among the biggest beneficiaries of Trump’s border wall scheme. Cemex SAB, the largest cement provider in the Americas, would stand to reap big profits from the project that would require an estimated 7.1 million cubic meters of concrete, according to an investment research firm.