IDF Completing Security Wall Around Gaza

View of construction work on the border fence with the Gaza Strip. (Anat Hermony/Flash90)

A wall to keep terrorists from Gaza from infiltrating into Israel entered its final phase of construction on Sunday.

The Defense Ministry said the 20-foot high galvanized steel fence will completely surround the Gaza Strip, running some 40 miles along the top of a concrete underground wall. It is said to feature an array of sensors and “modern security components.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu said the barrier is needed to “prevent the infiltration of terrorists into our territory,” at the start of weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

The project is due to be completed by the end of 2019, at a cost of approximately NIS 3 billion ($833 million), according to the army. The new above-ground fence will begin at the Egyptian-Israeli-Gaza border near Kerem Shalom, and will continue out to the sea barrier, according to the Defense Ministry.

“On Thursday, we began work on the final component of the Gaza Strip border barrier project. The obstacle is unique and specially designed to protect against the threats from the Strip and to give a superior solution to preventing infiltration into Israeli territory,” said the head of the project, Brig. Gen. (res.) Eran Ofir.

Construction has proceeded under virtual combat conditions. Hundreds of workers, some Israeli and others from abroad, wear flak jackets and operate under guard by IDF soldiers to protect them from possible attack from terror groups in the Strip.

Concrete factories were built next to the Gaza Strip to accelerate construction.

A powerful drilling unit called a hydromill was brought in from Germany to facilitate the work. It cuts deep, narrow trenches into the earth, both for the purpose of laying the underground wall and for exposing any Hamas tunnels in the area.