Israel begins construction on massive new barrier surrounding Gaza
Israel started construction of an “above-ground barrier” that will completely surround theGaza Strip in a bid to keep terroristsfrom infiltrating the Jewish state’s territory, officials said Sunday.
Israel’s Defense Ministrysaid in a statementthe galvanized steel barrier will be 20 feet high when completed and complements a subterranean wall aimed at thwarting Hamas tunnels dug beneath the border.
“The barrier will prevent terrorists from Gaza from penetrating into our territory on the ground,” Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahusaid on Twitter. “If the quiet is not maintained in Gaza, we will not hesitate to act.”
Israel has begun construction of an above-ground barrier surrounding the Gaza Strip.(Israeli Defense Ministry)
The new barrier will be built along the route of the underground system, running for about 40 miles. The entire project is expected to cost about $833 million and be completed by the end of 2019,according to the Times of Israel.
It will also connect to the barrier system constructed out into the Mediterranean Sea aimed at halting infiltration from the sea.
The fence is similar to the one built along the border with Egypt, which cut the number of illegal African migrants passing into Israel from 14,669 in 2010 to 14 in 2016,the Jerusalem Post reported. After the height of the fence was raised from 16 feet to 26 feet there have been no reported infiltrations, the Post reported.
The fence’s construction comes after months of violent mass protests along the border by Palestinians in Gaza.
An Israeli crane builds a wall near the border, seen from Lebanon, near the village of Naqoura, March 6, 2018.(REUTERS/Ali Hashisho)