Standing in the shadow of a 30-foot-high concrete wall, top defense officials announced Tuesday, December 7, that Israel had completed construction of a massive barrier running the length of the Gaza Strip both above and, critically, below ground.
The NIS 3.5 billion ($1.1 billion) project has taken over three years to complete and is meant to end the threat of cross-border attack tunnels from the Palestinian enclave, which the Strip’s Hamas rulers have utilized to deadly effect.
“This barrier, a creative, technological project of the first order, denies Hamas one of the capabilities that it tried to develop and puts a wall of iron, sensors, and concrete between it and the residents of the south,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said at the ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.
Construction of the barrier was a massive industrial undertaking, requiring some 1,200 workers, the removal of 330,000 trucks’ worth of sand, dirt, and rocks, two million cubic meters of concrete, and enough rebar that if laid out in a single line would reach Australia, according to Brig. Gen. Eran Ofir, who oversees the construction of defensive barriers for the Defense Ministry.
The 40-mile (65-kilometer) barrier lies all along the Gaza border and extends out to sea to ensure that terror groups in the Strip do not dig underwater tunnels, as they have attempted in the past.
The barrier is made up of several components: an underground reinforced concrete wall that is studded with sensors to detect tunnels; a 20-foot (six-meter) steel fence; a network of radar arrays and other surveillance sensors; and remote-controlled weaponry.
Originally posted at vfinews.com