Livni: Israel mulling underground barrier to physically separate from Gaza

Justice minister says such a boundary "may be a primitive one as long as it's effective."

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Israel is considering physically separating itself from the Gaza Strip, using some sort of underground barrier to ward off remaining threats from Hamas, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Monday.
Speaking on Army Radio, Livni responded to criticism that Israel was taken by surprise by the vastness of the network of Hamas tunnels from Gaza into Israel. She revealed that creative ideas were being considered to counteract the threat when Operation Protective Edge concludes.
“There are ways of doing it [separating Gaza from Israel],” she said. “The [barrier] may not need to be visible from above ground. There are, of course, also technological means that are being checked that could be effective.”
Livni said it was necessary not only to inform residents of the South about the terror threats from Gaza that the IDF had already neutralized, but also about the measures Israel will take in the future to ensure the security of its citizens.
She said Israel should be prepared to invest in order to protect them.
“There might be a large expense involved in it, but it will be worth it,” she said.
Livni did not reveal what kind of barrier she had in mind. She said it “might be a primitive one as long as it is effective.”
A source close to Livni did not know which barrier she preferred, adding that she was unaware of whether Livni favored building a moat.
Alon Pinkas, a former consul- general in New York, said the idea of building a moat around Gaza was 20 years old and recommended against it.
“It makes sense but [it is] not really viable or feasible,” Pinkas tweeted. “The World will call it a [concentration] camp, unless it is done in a broader context.”
While the IDF has been completing its work to destroy the last of Hamas’s known cross-border attack tunnels, Livni said a new order was needed in Gaza.
She indicated that Hamas had not succeeded in improving the situation for its population, instead regularly rallying false morale to muster support.
“Hamas has not accomplished anything for its people, but there will always be someone on their side who briefly emerges from his bunker to declare victory,” Livni said.
She added that on the Israeli side there would also be those who habitually complain.