Israel completes ‘iron wall’ underground Gaza barrier
Israeli defence minister says the ‘technologically advanced project’ includes hundreds of cameras, radar and other sensors over a stretch of 65km.
Israeli soldiers stand on guard by the fence along the Gaza Strip near Moshav Netiv HaAsara in southern Israel [Menahem Kahana/AFP]
7 Dec 2021
Israel has announced the completion of a sensor-equipped underground wall on its side of Gaza, a countermeasure developed after Hamas used tunnels to repel its troops during a 2014 invasion of the besieged Palestinian territory.
Israel went public with the project, which also includes an above-ground fence, a naval barrier, radar systems and command and control rooms, in 2016.
“The barrier, which is an innovative and technologically advanced project, deprives Hamas of one of the capabilities it tried to develop,” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said, according to a ministry statement.
“[It] places an ‘iron wall’, sensors and concrete between the terror organisation and the residents of Israel’s south,” he said of the project, which beefs up an existing fence.
The ministry said the barrier, which includes hundreds of cameras, radar and other sensors, spans 65km (40 miles) and 140,000 tonnes of iron and steel were used in its construction, which took three-and-a-half years to complete.
It said the project’s “smart fence” is more than 6 metres (20 feet) high and its maritime barrier includes means to detect infiltration by sea and a remote-controlled weapons system. The ministry did not disclose the depth of the underground wall.
Gaza also has a 14km (8.7 miles) long border with Egypt, which has also clamped down on crossings, citing security concerns. Since 2013, Egyptian forces have demolished smuggling tunnels while Hamas, on its side, has stepped up patrols.
Iron Dome interceptors
Israel and Hamas have fought four wars since the group seized control of the coastal Gaza Strip in 2007 from forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
In May, an 11-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip killed more than 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, and wounded more than 1,900 people, according to the health ministry in Gaza.
At least 12 people, including three foreign workers and two children, were killed in Israel by rockets fired by Hamas and other armed groups from Gaza during the same period.
Israel deployed its Iron Dome interceptors against the rockets and carried out extensive air attacks on Gaza. Hamas and other armed groups fired more than 4,300 rockets at Israel.
Is­rael’s Gantz can­not be held li­able for Gaza at­tack: Dutch court
Dutch court up­holds de­ci­sion to throw out civ­il case against Is­raeli de­fence min­is­ter for role in dead­ly 2014 raid.
7 Dec 2021
Pales­tini­ans launch first na­tion­al am­putee foot­ball team in Gaza
The squad of 20 am­putee foot­ballers from Gaza hopes to play in the Am­putee Foot­ball World Cup next year.
3 Dec 2021
Pales­tin­ian pris­on­er from Gaza dies in Is­raeli cus­tody
Sami Umour, 39, died at Soro­ka Hos­pi­tal in the Naqab from heart prob­lems and med­ical neg­li­gence, pris­on­er groups say.
18 Nov 2021
George Floyd death: Civil rights trial opens for accused ex-cops
What’s behind Burkina Faso’s latest military coup attempt?
Two reported dead as earthquakes rattle southern Haiti
Bitcoin rout sees $30,000 floor emerge as next line in the sand
EU top diplomat warns against ‘nervous breakdown’ over Ukraine
Burkina Faso army says it has deposed President Kabore
Russia and Ukraine conflict explained: What you need to know
In a Ukrainian city near Russia, a civilian army prepares for war
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2022 Al Jazeera Media Network
You rely on Al Jazeera for truth and transparency
We understand that your online privacy is very important and consenting to our collection of some personal information takes great trust. We ask for this consent because it allows Al Jazeera to provide an experience that truly gives a voice to the voiceless. You have the option to decline the cookies we automatically place on your browser but allowing Al Jazeera and our trusted partners to use cookies or similar technologies helps us improve our content and offerings to you. You can change your privacy preferences at any time by selecting ‘Cookie preferences’ at the bottom of your screen.To learn more, please view our Cookie Policy.