The IDF released photos of a nearly completed sea barrier at Zikim Beach north of Gaza. The stone barrier extends more than 650 feet out from the beach and is 50 feet wide.
Border Administration head Brig. Gen. Eran Ophir said, “The barrier is a kind of impenetrable breakwater composed of three layers: an underwater layer, a layer composed of reinforced stone, and a third layer of barbed wire fence. In addition to these layers, another fence will be built surrounding the area that will provide a response to the security threat.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said, “Work on building the land and sea barrier around the Gaza Strip is progressing rapidly and impressively. Everyday that passes, our preventative capabilities around the Gaza Strip are growing stronger.”
At a cost of $6.7 million, the sea barrier and its accompanying sensors are intended to prevent infiltration by Hamas naval commandos. In one such incident at the beginning of the 2014 war (Operation Protective Edge) with Hamas, five terrorists using scuba gear and armed with automatic weapons, fragmentation grenades and several types of explosive devices infiltrated Israel, arriving on the beach at Zikim. All the terrorists were eliminated by IDF troops. The IDF has reported dozens of such attempts since that initial foray.
In June, Israel launched an airstrike that destroyed a Hamas tunnel that extended into the Mediterranean. The tunnel was intended as a platform from which Hamas’ elite naval commandos could penetrate into Israel without being seen from the air.
Construction began two months ago and additional security measures are planned.
In addition to the breakwater, approximately 12 miles of an underground barrier have been completed in an effort to prevent Hamas tunnels from penetrating into Israel.