Opening to tunnel from Gaza uncovered by IDF on April 18, 2016 .
(photo credit: IDF)
The IDF has estimated that the security barrier between the Israeli border communities and Gaza will be completed within two years. The heads of the regional councils bordering Gaza said that the barrier, which will prevent tunnel-digging into Israel, has been estimated to cost more than NIS 3 billion.
The IDF emphasized that the current plans for the barrier will provide a wide variety of defensive solutions against threats, both above and below the ground. The barrier will include both technological and engineering components in addition to infrastructural aspects as well.
The military relayed that, as of now, the barrier is in the developmental stage.
In the last week, the communities bordering Gaza demanded the installation of the barrier, after a Hamas tunnel, that stretched from the southern Gaza Strip into Israel, was uncovered.
Eyal Brandeis, the spokesperson of Kibbutz Sufa, related, "We demand of the government to speed up the development of the border barrier and we even request that they reevaluate the decision to station soldiers to guard the communities until the project is complete."
The 30-meter deep shaft that was uncovered last week was likely dug after the military’s 2014 Operative Protective Edge offensive, according to an IDF assessment, though this has not been verified.
The defense establishment believes that Hamas is digging several additional attack tunnels, and that these have likely come to within a few meters of the border, but have not yet crossed it.
Gazan diggers could be ordered to tunnel under the border when an escalation looks imminent. With Israel’s new detection capabilities in place, however, it remains unclear how worthwhile it is for Hamas to continue to invest millions of shekels and hire thousands of miners for its tunnel networks.
Hamas said Monday that a “terror tunnel” extending from the coastal enclave into Israel that the IDF uncovered was but a “drop in a sea of moves” it is preparing against Israel.