Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:3AM
Construction on the area around the port of entry from Mexico to the United States continues next to the border wall in San Ysidro, California, US, January 25, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Construction on the area around the port of entry from Mexico to the United States continues next to the border wall in San Ysidro, California, US, January 25, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Mexico has lashed out at the Israeli regime for applauding the new US administration’s contentious plan to erect a wall along the Mexico border in a sweeping crackdown on immigration.

In a tweet on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed support for US President Donald Trump’s plan, saying a similar barrier built by Tel Aviv along the Egyptian border “stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.”

Irked by the Twitter post, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry released a statement later in the day, saying it had expressed to Tel Aviv via the regime’s ambassador to Mexico City “its profound astonishment, rejection and disappointment over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s message.”

Meanwhile, the Central Committee of the Jewish Community in Mexico also issued a statement and “forcefully rejected” Netanyahu’s message.

“As Mexicans and Jews, we support the actions taken by President Enrique Pena Nieto in negotiations with the US,” the statement said.

Facing the criticisms, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tried to justify Netanyahu’s comments, which he said were referring to Israel’s “specific security experience,” and had nothing to do with US-Mexico ties.

On January 25, the US president signed executive actions to begin the construction of the Mexico border wall and increase the number of immigration enforcement officers who carry out deportations. 

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order to start the Mexico border wall project at the Department of Homeland Security facility in Washington, DC, January 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Trump has also imposed a ban on entry to the US for people from certain Muslim-majority countries.

The US president’s calls earlier this week for Mexico to pay for the border wall sparked a rift, prompting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to drop a planned visit to Washington.

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In another controversial decision, Trump signed an executive order on January 23, formally withdrawing the US from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, of which Mexico is a member.

Palestinian women and girls walk in front of Israel’s 'Apartheid Wall' between the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem and Jerusalem al-Quds on January 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Tel Aviv began building a barrier fence on its border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in 2012 to stem the flow of African refugees into the occupied territories.

The regime has been under heavy criticism for its ill-treatment of some 45,000 African refugees, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, thousands of whom are kept in detention facilities.

Israel has also set up barriers around the blockaded Gaza Strip and along much of the occupied West Bank, what Palestinians call the Apartheid Wall.