Israel begins construction of new barrier on border with Gaza Strip

Israel says that work to strengthen its border with the Gaza Strip had entered a new phase, with construction starting on a massive new barrier along the frontier. “Over the weekend we began building the above-ground barrier along the Gaza border,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday before the weekly Cabinet meeting. The barrier will be 6 meters high (20ft) and is designed to “prevent terrorists from Gaza from penetrating into our territory on the ground,” he said. A Defense Ministry statement said that work on the structure began last Thursday. It is set to follow the 65-kilometer (41 miles) course of an underground barrier which is also under construction and meant to neutralize the threat of cross-border “tunnels” built by Gaza’s armed groups, AFP reports.