Israel announces construction of new barrier along Gaza border

According to a statement from Israel's Defence Ministry, the new barrier will be 65 kilometres long and six metres high.
According to a statement from Israel's Defence Ministry, the new barrier will be 65 kilometres long and six metres high.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TEL AVIV (DPA) - Israel has begun building a new barrier along its border with Gaza, the Defence Ministry announced on Sunday (Feb 3).

"The barrier will prevent terrorists from Gaza from penetrating into our territory on the ground," Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting.

According to a statement from the Defence Ministry, the new barrier will be 65 kilometres long and six metres high.

Palestinians in Gaza continuously cut the wire fence that currently exists, in order to try to cross into Israel.

The ministry said the barrier will be similar to the one that runs along the border with Egypt.

It noted that it will have "significant improvements" and will be made up of some 20,000 tons of galvanised steel.

The army said earlier on Sunday that it has arrested several suspects who approached the border from Gaza carrying knives and a cutter.

Netanyahu stressed that "if the quiet is not maintained in Gaza, we will make the decisions even in the elections period and will not hesitate to act."

Netanyahu made similar comments directed at Iran, which on Saturday announced that it had tested a new cruise missile.

"Iran openly declares its intention to destroy the State of Israel," Netanyahu said.

"I have a clear message to the tyrants of Teheran: We know what you are doing and where you are doing it. We will continue to take action against Iran with all the tools at our disposal in order to ensure the security and future of Israel," he added.