Israel has completed its massive 30-foot wall at the Gaza Strip, and defense officials are calling it a "game-changer," reports Newsmax Jerusalem correspondent Daniel Cohen.
The wall runs 40 miles, end-to-end, and covers the entire length of the Gaza Strip both above and underground. It is a "modern, technically advanced marvel," Cohen reported Wednesday on Newsmax's "National Report."
"It's equipped with cameras, sensors, radar, and remote-controlled weaponry," he added. "The barrier stops those who try to cross above ground and more importantly, below ground as well. [This is] an important countermeasure developed after Hamas militants used tunnels to blindside Israeli troops in a war in 2014."
Top Israeli defense officials announced earlier this week that the barrier had been completed. The project came in at a cost of $1.1 billion and took over three years to finish, reports The Times of Israel.
Hamas has used cross-border tunnels in the attacks from the Palestinian side of the border, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz said at Tuesday's ceremony to dedicate the wall that it is a "creative, technological project of the first order" that "denies Hamas one of the capabilities that it tried to develop and puts a wall of iron, sensors, and concrete between it and the residents of the south."
According to Brigadier Gen. Eran Ofir, who oversees the construction of barriers for Israel's Defense Ministry, the barrier's construction required 1,200 workers and the removal of 330,000 trucks filled with dirt, sand, and rocks.
The barrier itself includes 2 million cubic meters of concrete, Ofir also said, and uses enough rebar that if it was laid in a single line would reach Australia.
The newly finished wall also extends out to the sea so that terror groups from the Gaza Strip are not able to dig underwater tunnels.
The structure consists of an underground reinforced concrete wall that has sensors that detect tunnels, a 20-foot steel fence, remote-controlled weapons, and surveillance sensors that include radar arrays.
"Israel is surrounded by enemies and faces constant threats from neighbors on all sides," reports Cohen. "It is expected to begin a barrier project with the Lebanon border next year in order to put a stop to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group. However, that barrier will be less advanced."
Meanwhile, Gantz warned in his speech that even with the wall, that Israel could be seeing "the calm before the storm," reports The Times of Israel.
This follows threats by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups on claims that reconstruction efforts in the Gaza Strip are moving too slowly after the conflicts in May.
Israel and Hamas are in the process of negotiating an extended ceasefire, but Israel is demanding the return of two civilians and the remains of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers that had been in Hamas' captivity since 2014.
Hamas is holding out for Israel to release Palestinians being held in prisons, but Jerusalem is refusing, reports the newspaper.
"We will continue to prepare to neutralize every attempt to harm Israeli civilians from the Strip — with the threat of rockets, particularly in our sights," Gantz said in his remarks. "We will prevent Iranian knowledge and technology from reaching Gaza and we will continue to thwart every attempt by Hamas to use its proxies in the West Bank and Israel. These attempts fail time and again."
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