The U.S. is not the only nation with wall problems along one of its border. The barrier along Israel’s border with Hamas-controlled Gaza is about to go underground.
The Jewish state is expanding its protection with an subterranean wall designed to prevent terrorist incursions via tunnels Hamas has dug under the border. Before and during the last war between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist fighters used these tunnels to attack civilians and blindside IDF troops.
The underground barrier was announced three years ago, but now the IDF says it will accelerate the construction of the underground, which is expected to be completed within two years:
The Israeli army will spend $800 million on building a massive underground barrier along its border with Gaza. The wall will stretch along the entire 40-mile frontier and will be 40m deep.
Much will be concrete, latticed with iron bars and pipes laden with sensors. The army also plans to build a 6m-high steel barrier above it to prevent Gazans from crossing into Israel.
The army expects to have workers building the wall around the clock by October, though it will probably take years to complete. It has already set up concrete factories along the border.
The barrier will also extend into the Mediterranean, to prevent Hamas frogmen from swimming ashore. “I think the other side will have to re-evaluate the situation in view of the barrier,” said General Eyal Zamir, the Israeli head of the southern command.
The wall will be set back a few meters from the border, which stave off some of the criticism about to be leveled at Israel by Democrats in the U.S. Congress and countries with policies unfavorable toward Israel.
Hamas has declared that the building of the underground barrier is a act of war. About which Southern Command chief Gen. Eyal Zamir told CNN, “I think the other side will have to reevaluate the situation in view of the barrier’s construction. … If Hamas chooses to go to war over the barrier, it will be [sic] worthy reason to go to war over — but the barrier will be built.”
Israeli military officials also distributed aerial photographs and GPS coordinates of two residential buildings in Gaza that they say hides entrances to Hamas tunnel networks. Zamir said that in wartime the buildings would be legitimate targets. One of the two is home to a Hamas member with five children, connecting to a nearby mosque, according to the IDF. These are said to be two in “bank of targets.”
“Our intelligence shows without any doubt that Hamas is building its infrastructure for the next round of fighting in the civilian arena,” Zamir added.
Zamir explained that Hamas purposefully builds the tunnels under civilian structures to provide human shields for its operations. That being the case, the general warned:
These sites are legitimate military targets. Anyone inside of one, should another conflict begin, endangers himself and endangers his family, and the responsibility is on the Hamas organization.
A video report on the wall construction follows:
Cross posted at The Lid