Israel moves ahead on underground wall around Gaza

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JERUSALEM: Israel is pushing ahead with a project to build a giant underground wall around the Gaza Strip to block tunnels that could be used for attacks, the army said on Thursday. The project comes after the government faced heavy criticism over Hamas’s use of tunnels in the 2014 Gaza war, with a state inquiry earlier this year accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and army top brass of being unprepared for the threat. Army radio reported that the wall, comprising concrete planks and sensors, will stretch some 64 kilometers (40 miles). It is expected to be some six meters (20 feet) high and 40 meters (130 feet) deep, and cost around three billion shekels (710 million euros, $834 million). Construction Minister Yoav Galant said the wall will be built in Israeli territory parallel to the border fence sealing off the Palestinian enclave run by Islamist movement Hamas.

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