Israel began constructing the upper part of the Gaza barrier meant to keep terrorists out of Israel.
By World Israel News Staff
The above-ground section of the huge underground barrier separating the Gaza Strip from Israel began late last week.
The upper barrier will be built in conjunction with the underground section, which has not yet been completed, Israel’s Mako website reports. The barrier will extend 40 miles, the entire length of the Gaza Strip border, and reach a height of 19.6 feet, or 6 meters.
The total weight of the upper part of the fence will reach 20,000 tons of galvanized steel. It also includes sophisticated sensors to detect tunneling near the border.
The barrier is meant to protect the Jewish communities surrounding the Gaza Strip. It is Israel’s answer to an event during the 2014 Gaza War, also known as Operation Protective Edge.
On July 8, 2014, four Hamas naval commandos entered Israel by sea near Kibbutz Zikim. They were intercepted by an Israeli patrol before they could attack the community, but the incident made Israel aware of its vulnerability to attack by sea. Hamas tunneling also was an important factor in motivating Israel to build the massive barrier, which it started in the summer of 2018.
Most of the wall is underground and its exact depth remains secret.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting: “Over the weekend we began building the above-ground barrier along the Gaza border. The barrier will prevent terrorists from Gaza from penetrating into our territory on the ground.”
“I would also like to make it clear: If the quiet is not maintained in Gaza, we will make the decisions even in the elections period and will not hesitate to act,” the prime minister said.
Brigadier General Eran Ophir, who is in charge of the project, said “The barrier is unique and especially suited to threats from the Gaza Strip, and will provide a maximum response to preventing entry into Israel.”