Israel to Move Ahead With Massive Gaza Border Fence

After Gazans storm border, plan to build a fence is expected to be authorized.

Gili Cohen
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Palestinian protestors tear down a section of a border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip during clashes with Israeli security forces on October 12, 2015.Credit: AFP
Gili Cohen

The defense establishment is expected to greenlight the construction of a massive fence along the border with the Gaza Strip, similar to the one built along the Israeli-Egyptian border.

The Israeli army's Southern Command has been working on plans for the fence for the last year, but thus far no funding for the fence has been allocated.

The plan, called "Southern Light," includes the erection of two fences along the border. In the coming days, it is expected that part of the plan – the construction of a 65-km-long tall fence – will be approved.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces are preparing for a possible mass march from Gaza to Israel, like those that occurred on the border with Syria in 2011. In one of the recent border breaches, a group of Palestinians made it 100 meters inside Israeli territory, near the Be'eri kibbutz. Following an army probe of the incident, top IDF officers backed the troops' response, even though it caused a high number of Palestinian casualties – seven killed, according to the IDF, 30 according to the Palestinian reports.

Palestinian protesters near border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip during clashes with Israeli security forces on October 13, 2015.
Palestinian protesters near border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip during clashes with Israeli security forces on October 13, 2015.Credit: Reuters

In Friday's breach, the army reported that Palestinians threw six grenades, improvised explosives and firebombs near Nahal Oz. In addition, the fence was torched and hundreds of meters of it were damaged. According to the army, the troops acted appropriately, and Military Police will not launch an investigation.

However, an IDF probe showed professional faults in the troops' actions, among them the usage of sniper units.

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