Israel begins work on Gaza sea barrier

Israel’s defence minister has published a video of an “impenetrable” sea barrier Israel is building to prevent attacks from Gaza, the territory ruled by militant group Hamas.

The barrier, expected to be completed by the end of the year, will consist of three layers that stretch out into the Mediterranean Sea from the southern Israeli community of Zikim.

A first layer will sit below the water line, and will be topped with a heavy stone wall and barbed wire.

An additional fence will surround the large and imposing sea blockade.

Israel’s Defence Ministry described the barrier as “an impenetrable breakwater”.

“This barrier is one-of-a kind in the world,” Defence chief Avigdor Lieberman told The Jerusalem Post.

The barrier “will effectively block any possibility of entering Israel by sea. This further thwarts Hamas, which is now losing another strategic asset after investing huge sums in its development,” he said.

 

Israel decided to erect a sea barrier in 2014, when several Hamas gunmen tried to enter Israel by sea but were shot dead by soldiers.

The video of the sea barrier was posted to Lieberman’s Twitter account today (AEST), as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his Security Cabinet to discuss an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

As part of negotiations, several exiled Hamas leaders are in Gaza for consultations.

Israel and Hamas came close to serious conflict recently when months of border violence escalated.

Hamas has led weekly border protests partially aimed at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

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