After spate of deadly attacks by terrorists who slipped through gaps in the fence, Israel begins reinforcing and extending security barrier.
By World Israel News Staff
Israel began new construction on Tuesday to reinforce and extend the security barrier extended in northern Samaria by some 45 kilometers (28 miles).
The move to strengthen the barrier comes after a spate of deadly terror attacks that began in late March, many of which were perpetrated by Palestinians who illegally crossed into Israel via gaps in the fence.
The new, 9 meter (30 feet) tall barrier will replace an aging security fence stretching from northern Samaria to the Bat Hefer region, which was originally built some 20 years ago.
The work is being carried out by the IDF’s Central Command and the Defense Ministry’s Dept. of Engineering and Construction.
“We are continuing our defensive efforts in the north by strengthening the Judea and Samaria security barrier and providing solutions for the Israeli home front,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement on Wednesday.
“These efforts constitute an integral part of our operational activity. Along with this, we will continue to operate against all threats we face in order to maintain the security of Israel’s civilians.”
Although Israel constructed a barrier around Judea and Samaria during the second intifada, aimed at stopping suicide bombers and other terror attacks, the fence was never fully completed and has fallen into disrepair.
The lack of upkeep or enforcement at the barrier has seen tens of thousands of illegal Palestinian workers slip through the fence on a daily basis, with taxis and mini-buses waiting in plain sight to pick up the laborers on the Israeli side of the divider.
Israeli security forces have largely turned a blind eye to the issue in the past, but are facing increased pressure to strengthen the barrier after terrorists from the Jenin area illegally entered Israel and committed deadly attacks in Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak, and Elad.
A senior security official told Globes that “with or without breaches in the fence, anyone determined enough will be able to get into Israel… no closure can be entirely hermetic.”
The official added that “among those passing through gaps in the fence are permit-holders [Palestinians with Israeli work permits] who prefer it over the congested official checkpoints.”