Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has approved a budget of NIS3.34 billion ($870 million) to build a wall along the border with the Gaza Strip, Ynet News reported on Monday. The project is said to be one of the biggest and most expensive ever undertaken and is meant to be combined with several other security measures along the 64 kilometre de facto border.
Like the “smart” fence on the Egyptian border, explained Ynet News, this one will have concrete walls deep underground and equipment to detect tunnels. The wall will have both offensive and defensive capabilities. Although the project is still in its initial stages, it is expected to move forward in the coming months.
According to an anonymous senior Israeli army official, the wall will be an effective defence against tunnels, but he reiterated that “there is no 100 per cent success” guarantee. Furthermore, it will not be an alternative to troops on the ground. Israel’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot, meanwhile, called the plan, “The flagship project of the Israel Defence Forces and the security establishment.”