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July 16, 2019 3:04 pm

Israeli Military Said to Be Making Significant Progress in Shoring Up Gaza Border Defenses

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The Israel-Gaza Strip border. Photo: Mary Madigan via Wikimedia Commons.

The IDF is making significant progress in its efforts to shore up defenses along the Gaza border, including an underground barrier, an above-ground fence and protections against anti-tank missiles.

According to Israeli news site Walla, 40 kilometers (25 miles) of the underground barrier, which is intended to block attack tunnels dug by Hamas and other Gaza terrorist groups, has already been completed.

This is more than half the planned length of the barrier.

During construction of the barrier, the IDF has discovered and mostly destroyed 18 tunnels, apparently dug after the 2014 Gaza war in which large numbers of such tunnels were found and demolished.

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The IDF believes 16 of these tunnels were dug over the last two years, and is convinced that Hamas is still attempting to build tunnels to facilitate terror attacks.

Progress is also being made on the above-ground fence, which will rise to a height of 3.5 meters (almost 12 feet). Approximately 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) has been successfully built.

Unnamed sources in the IDF Southern Command said that construction was proceeding faster than expected, and was serving other purposes as well, making it easier for the army to secure nearby Israeli towns and IDF outposts.

Nonetheless, the army believes that Hamas is currently working on new weapons and tactics to use against the construction project, such as rocket launchers and mortar shells.

One of these threats is the use of anti-tank missiles, which killed an Israeli motorist on a highway near the border during a flare-up in violence earlier this year.

The Israeli news site Mako reported that, as a defensive measure, the IDF was building large dirt mounds along southern roads and border areas to prevent such attacks.

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