Israel has begun working on an ocean barrier aimed at preventing Palestinians in Gaza from infiltrating its territory, the Israeli defense ministry has said.
The barrier, which consists of fortified breakwater topped with barbed wire, is being constructed a few kilometers north of Gaza and is due to be completed by the end of the year.
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s defense minister, said in a statement on Sunday:
This is the only barrier of its kind in the world, which will effectively block the possibility of infiltrating into Israel by sea, this is further thwarting Hamas, which will lose another strategic capability [after] investing huge sums in its development.
According to Israeli media, the defense ministry ordered the construction of the barrier in the aftermath of the 2014 Gaza war and after discovering that Hamas fighters had successfully entered Israel by sea.
The coastal enclave has been the subject of a blockade imposed by Israel and, to a lesser degree, Egypt since 2007 when Hamas took control of the territory.
Israeli naval vessels have made it difficult for Gaza’s fishermen to fish beyond a certain point, usually set at six nautical miles or about 11km and have opened fire on Palestinians ships in the past.
Source: Palestine Chronicle