Israel’s Defence Ministry this week issued a tender for the digging and construction of a planned underground barrier designed to protect Israeli communities from the threat of Hamas’s cross-border terror tunnels.
Ynet News reported that the closed tender was sent to 20 large contractors in Israel, to construct a 10-kilometre section of the barrier, which will then be extended along the entire 60-kilometre length of the Gaza border.
The concrete barrier will reportedly extend several stories underground, and also include a section above ground, which will contain sensors to help detect tunnel building and digging.
The project is expected to cost at least NIS 2 billion (about $500 million) and is supposed to begin construction in October.
Hamas confirmed in June that it is rebuilding its tunnels and residents of southern Israel’s communities bordering on Gaza have reported once again hearing digging sounds under their homes.
Israeli officials reported last month that Hamas terror group is digging six miles of tunnels each month toward Israel. Israel located and destroyed two Hamas cross-border terror tunnels in April and May this year, which were discovered in the southern Gaza Strip and ran into Israeli territory.
During the Operation Protective Edge conflict in Gaza in the summer of 2014, Israel uncovered and destroyed 32 cross-border tunnels, through which Hamas planned to infiltrate Israel to carry out terror attacks. Cross-border tunnels were used in the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.