Israeli Army Reveals Barrier Against Hamas Naval Commandos

The IDF is moving ahead with the construction of a maritime barrier, while continuing to prevent the Gaza-based group by land and air

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Construction of the underwater barrier north of the Gaza Strip.
Construction of the underwater barrier north of the Gaza Strip.Credit: Israel Defense Ministry
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

The Ministry of Defense announced on Sunday progress in the construction of the maritime barrier located north of the Gaza Strip. The announcement was made in light of talks regarding the calm in Gaza and the expected discussion by the security cabinet on the matter. The Israel Defense Forces expressed satisfaction with the pace of the barrier's construction, which began in May.

The state decided to erect the barrier after terrorists infiltrated Zikim Beach during the 2014 Israel-Gaza war. In the incident, several Hamas militants entered Israel, attacked a tank and were killed by the IDF. The construction of the land barrier along the Gaza Strip and the development of air defense systems harm Hamas' ability to attack Israel, which is why the intelligence believes Hamas will try to attack Israel through the sea.

>> Hamas stands to emerge dominant from possible Gaza deal – at Abbas' expense | Analysis

Comparison of the barrier's construction in June and July of 2018. Credit: Israel Defense Ministry

The barrier north of the Gaza Strip will be built 200 meters into the sea and will be 50 meters wide. On it, a six-meter fence will be built, which will include various means to cover the area above and below sea level. The maritime barrier will consist of three layers. One of the layers will be below sea level, another layer will be made of stone and the third layer will be barbed wire. Another fence will surround the barrier. The Defense Ministry described the barrier as "an impenetrable breakwater."

The maritime barrier joins the land barrier the construction of which began in 2017. As part of the work, the IDF is moving the entire existing border area a few hundred meters east into Israeli territory. The existing fence will be improved and reinforced, and on its eastern a side six-meter high fence will be erected, similar to the one on the Egyptian border, only thicker. Several dirt mounds will be erected between the old fence and the new one, which will allow the IDF to place tanks in them. A number of traffic routes will be built, enabling the army to conduct tours west of the new fence. Traffic routes will also be built on the eastern side of the new fence, so that forces will be able to move and for the maintenance of the fence.

In addition, the ground barrier will also include an underground barrier that the IDF hopes will solve the threat of tunnels crossing into Israel. Under the high metal fence, the army is building an underground concrete wall. The concrete wall will include sensors designed to provide an alert when the wall is approached. Thus, the IDF hopes, the army will receive warning from the army when future tunnels between Gaza and Israel are built.

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