Thursday, October 01, 2020

Images released of Israelís underwater barrier with Gaza

By Maria Correia - August 07, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza Blockade] [Gaza]

After two months since the start of construction, the Israeli Defence Ministry has released images of Israel’s maritime barrier with Gaza.

The sea barrier is an extension of the wall Israel is currently building on-land around the Gaza border. Its purpose is to prevent coastal attacks and limit the possibility for Hamas to reach Israel through the sea.
According to head of the Defence Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Department Erez Cohen, the barrier is expected to finish by the end of 2018.
What the ministry calls 'impregnable breakwater’ is being built in the Zikim beach area.
In addition to the sea barrier, which consists of three layers, the Israeli Navy has installed a sensory mechanism for detection purposes.
The sensor system is aimed to detect entry by divers or swimmers.
When completed, the barrier will be 200 meters long, 50 meters wide and six meters above the sea level.
Avigdor Liberman, the Minister of defence, posted on Twitter: "We are continuing intensive work to build land and sea obstacles around Gaza. Hamas is losing its capability to attack Israel every day."
He added, “Israel’s counter-terrorism capabilities around Gaza are increasing every day” and that Israel’s “ability to prevent attacks near the trip gets better all the time.”
The barrier is under construction as Egypt and the United Nations work towards crafting a proposal to calm the situation in Gaza and work towards achieving a long-term ceasefire with Israel.
The construction of the underwater barrier was prompted by the 2014 war in Gaza, when Hamas naval commandos swam to shore on the Zikim coast armed with automatic weapons and explosives.
Since 2015, Israel has positioned sensors as a part of the “Aqua Shield” system, to alert unusual underwater movement, near both the Gaza and Lebanon borders.
The barrier is the first of its kind in the world. In May when the construction began, Lieberman vowed that he will “keep protecting Israel’s citizens with power and sophistication.”
In February 2018, an Israeli Naval officer said that “Hamas sees potential in the sea like they saw potential in the tunnels”, as to emphasize the need for maritime protection between Gaza and Israel.
In June 2018, the IDF destroyed a Hamas Naval tunnel, which could have potentially enabled Hamas military entry to Israel.
The border between Israel and Gaza has become increasingly volatile in the last months since the start of the 'Great March of Return’ and the reaction to it by the Israeli forces.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 155 Palestinian protesters have died during the Great March of Return between March 30th and the end of July.

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