The Israeli defense establishment is expected to finish installing a sophisticated anti-tunnel barrier along the Israel-Gaza border within two years, Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.
The project, dubbed “Hourglass,” is estimated to cost billions of shekels. The barrier’s blueprints are the product of cross-platform development involving officers from the Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Directorate, the IDF Engineering Corps, and the Shin Bet security agency; civilian engineering and infrastructure contractors; and tunnel-construction experts.
The project’s premise follows a pessimistic security scenario, suggesting that a recently discovered terror tunnel running under the Gaza border into Israel was just one tunnel among an extensive grid of underground passageways.
The planned barrier has been described as a “multi-tiered” defense striving to meet a wide variety of threats, above and underground. It incorporates innovative measures, including sensor technology to detect underground excavation and unique engineering technology. The barrier will also feature a state-of-the-art fence, complete with sensors, observation balloons, see-shoot systems, and intelligence gathering measures, as well as an underground wall.
The Sentry-Tech “see-shoot” system, produced by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, is a remote-controlled sensors and weapons system that is already deployed along the Israel-Egypt border.
Defense sources told Israel Hayom that should other terror tunnels be discovered, the Hamas terror group may scramble to maximally use such tunnels before they are rendered ineffective. Nevertheless, a top defense official stressed that Hamas is unlikely to provoke a war with Israel at this time.