An electronic surveillance system made by the Israeli military will be used to check for people trying to cross the so-called Green Line that divides the Cypriot capital of Nicosia, including a Turkish-occupied area.
The legitimate Greek-Cypriot government, a member of the European Union that Turkey has fruitlessly been trying to join since 2005, some 16 years, signed an agreement for the system.
A United Nations peacekeeping force officially is in charge of monitoring and patrolling the border where there are a number of checkpoints where people can cross using their passports or identification.
“It … will provide us with images 24 hours a day,” Cypriot Defense Ministry spokesperson Christos Pieris told the Cyprus News Agency. “It will be installed at various points on the Green Line.”
The 180-kilometer (112-mile) Green Line has split the island from east to west since 1974 when Turkey twice invaded, with the implicit support of the United States which looked the other way.
The surveillance system will monitor activity such as smuggling and illegal migration, as well as provide military intelligence, officials said, added The Times of Israel
In May, Cyprus said it was in a “state of emergency” because of an inflow of Syrian migrants overwhelming reception centers and the government wants to prevent people from crossing or being smuggled in.
The number of asylum seekers in Cyprus has passed more than 4 percent of the population, some four times compared to other EU countries, the government said. The system will cost 27.5 million euros ($31.79 million) and take three years to finish, the report also added.