Israel’s Defense Ministry began the final phase of its border fortification project along the Gaza border with an above-ground, 20-foot-high smart fence in late January.
Building on the effectiveness of the Israel-Egypt fence, Israel has been fortifying its border with Gaza because of Hamas infiltration through terrorist tunnels and from the Mediterranean Sea. The fencing is similar to the successful fence on the Egyptian border, “but it has significant improvements and includes innovative security elements,” the Defense Ministry reported.
In 2018, Israel installed both a 40-mile underground barrier at the Israel-Gaza border and 656-foot fortified sea wall in the Mediterranean.
The new wall, due to be completed at a cost of $833 million by the end of 2019, will follow the route of the underground barrier and connect to the Mediterranean Sea wall.
The smart fence is the “above-ground part of Israel’s underground barrier, which has a system of advanced sensor and monitoring devices to detect tunnels,” explained The Jerusalem Post. The Defense Ministry stated that the work on the underground barrier “will continue in parallel to the work on the fence.”
The see-through steel barrier “will prevent terrorists in Gaza from penetrating into our territory,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Support for the Israeli Approach in the U.S.
A recent opinion article in USA Today advocated for US border security modeled after Israeli-style fences that would include technology such as ground radars, sensors and electro-optic cameras. The article was written by Attorney Stuart E. Eizenstat, a former policy adviser to Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, in addition to Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
Eizenstat’s proposal would also include more border patrol officers, customs agents and asylum judges.
“Congressional negotiators could help break the logjam by allocating more than $5 billion for border security, as Trump seeks,” he wrote.
A bipartisan congressional committee announced their U.S. immigration “agreement in principle” on Tuesday, an effort to avoid another government shutdown. Rumors of the details and support – or lack of support – abound, but by Friday, it is expected that either:
- The U.S. Congress will pass a bill the president will sign, or
- The country will endure another government shutdown, or
- The president will declare a national emergency.
Israel’s ’99.9 Percent Stoppage’
President Trump has also pointed to Israel’s secure fencing as an example of what’s needed along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“People want protection, and a wall protects,” Trump said in a late-January interview with Fox News.
“All you have to do is ask Israel ... It’s 99.9 percent stoppage,” he said.
The president was referring to other smart fencing completed in 2014 to prevent illegal migration to Israel from Africa through Egypt. The fence began as a 16-foot-high, 242-mile-long concrete wall that slashed illegal African migration from 14,669 in 2010 to 213 in 2015.
Israel then extended the height of the wall to 26 feet and installed electronic detection equipment, further reducing illegal migration from Egypt to 11 in 2016 and none in 2017, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry.
Israel has also built walls along its borders with Jordan, Lebanon and the Golan Heights.
Given the success of the Israel-Egypt fence, Israeli’s Netanyahu tweeted his support for Trump’s approach. “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea,” he wrote.
Please pray with us that the innovative fencing under construction at the Israel-Gaza border will increase safety for Israeli and Gaza citizens in the crosshairs of Hamas terrorism.