Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Israel begins building marine barrier along Gaza border

Israel begins building marine barrier along Gaza border

According to Erez Cohen, the head of the Defence Ministry's Engineering and Construction Department, the work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

People in the besieged Gaza Strip plan to break through the Israeli-imposed sea blockade on the impoverished sliver, while Tel Aviv tries to erect a sea barrier to bar desperate Gazans from breaching the decade-long siege.

Israeli military officials said Sunday's attacks targeted an observation post manned by militants from the Islamic Jihad organisation, Al Jazeera reported.

A Palestinian man uses a slingshot during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with the Gaza strip east of Khan Yunis
Image A Palestinian uses a slingshot during clashes with Israeli forces at the border on 14 May

The barrier is made up of three layers, including one below sea level, a layer of armored stone and a third layer with barbed wire.

"This is an additional setback for Hamas, which has lost another strategic capability that it has invested massive amounts in developing".

The occupied territories have been the scene of new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017, declared Washington's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's "capital" and promised that the US would move its diplomatic mission to the city. In addition, a fence will surround the breakwater to provide a final measure of security.

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The length and depth of the barrier have not been revealed so far.

Israel already maintains a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip. The other they described only as a Hamas site in the centre of the strip.

Israel has been haunted by the threat of underground tunnels since 2006, when Palestinian fighters sprung out of tunnel near the Egyptian border, killing two soldiers and capturing another. The incident comes days after the resumption of March of Return protests.

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Low-level demonstrations along the border have continued since protests peaked on May 14, when at least 61 Palestinians were killed as tens of thousands of Gazans protested the USA transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The water barricade will join its overland "brother" that has been under construction around the coastal enclave since 2016 - a 60-kilometer wall meant to stop Hamas from tunneling under the border into Israel, as it has tried doing numerous times over recent years.

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