Israel has begun working on a project called the “Barrier, ” to build a massive concrete barrier along its border with Gaza Strip to destroy cross-border tunnels dug by Hamas, both above and below ground level.
The Defense Ministry recently accepted bids from 20 Israeli construction firms for the planned multi-layered wall, which will reach several stories underground, and will also rise above ground as well. The projected new barrier is designed to help defend against Hamas cross-border attack tunnels.
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The wall is estimated to cost approximately $531 million (NIS 2 billion), with the participation of four Israeli companies. The project has already received $159.3 million (NIS 600 million) in initial funding.
Funding for the final phases of the Barrier still remain unallocated, however sources at the Ministry of Defense say it will not be delayed. Even Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said while visiting the Gaza border communities that “money will not be a barrier to erecting the barrier.”
The massive barrier will eventually cover 60 kilometers, the full extent of the coastal enclave. Gadi Eisencott the IDF Chief of Staff has labeled it the “largest project” ever carried out in the history of the IDF, Ynet news reports.
Hamas is putting a brace face on the news: “They will understand that they’re digging death traps for themselves, ” said a high ranking Hamas official, according to Ynet News.