Following reports that the Israeli army would be expediting its project to build a subterranean barrier along the Israeli border with the besieged Gaza Strip, a Hamas official condemned the move, calling the construction of the barrier a “declaration of war.”
Israeli news website Ynet reported on Thursday that in a press briefing along the border, an Israeli army general told reporters that the decision to expedite the subterranean barrier came after “intelligence” that Hamas was attempting to expand the network of tunnels underneath Gaza.
The general, Major General Eyal Zamir, reportedly told Ynet that expediting the construction of the barrier “is not intended to see the tenuous ceasefire with Hamas unravel, but that the IDF would not shy away from another confrontation should Gaza’s rulers choose to launch one.”
Israel threatens new Gaza war if Hamas sabotages barrier planshttps://t.co/M6AzIExDOL
— Staat van Beleg (@StaatVanBeleg) August 10, 2017
“We will turn the tunnels into a death trap in the next war,” Ynet quoted Zamir as saying.
“Whoever is inside these buildings is endangering himself and his children, and this entire building is a legitimate military target and has entered our bank of objective,” Zamir said, referring to two residential buildings and a mosque, under which entrances to tunnels have allegedly been built.
An unnamed Hamas official reportedly told Israeli newspaper Israel Today that the barrier “is another step to escalate the siege on Gaza,” stressing that “Hamas will not allow Israel to conduct its plans and crimes against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and will prevent the construction of the barrier with all possible means.”
According to Ynet, the barrier is to be of concrete, and will reach “dozens of meters” below ground, and be topped above ground with a six-meter “security fence above ground.”
(Maan, PC, Social Media)