The Gaza Strip is essential to the two state solution proposed for Palestine. It is ruled by the Hamas, an extremist organization that does not want peace with Israel. Occasionally, Hamas militants shoot rockets into Israeli settlements close to the border.
In 2014, the Israelis fought a bloody war with the Gazans, in which over 2100 Gazans and 72 Israelis were killed. During the war, the Israeli were shocked to discover as many as 30 hidden tunnels in the Gaza strip. 14 of these tunnels were crossing the boundary and opening up in residential neighborhoods in Israel.
In the last year itself, at least three such tunnels were discovered. Seeing how this is a recurring problem, the Israelis came up with a unique solution. They are supposedly making plans to build a 30 meter deep wall around the Gaza strip.
The media has reported the wall will replace the barbed wire fence put in place after Israeli removed its settlements from the Gaza strip in 2005. The wall will stretch for the entire 40 mile length of the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel and will reportedly cost the Israeli government close to $570 million.
Wall to protect Israeli settlements in the area
The area has been quite for some time now, but conflict could rear its hood anytime. Military analysts in Israel believe that it is only a matter of time before there is war again.
According to one Israeli army officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, Hamas is already preparing for war. He said, Hamas wants quiet with Israel in the short term but in the long term, it wants war. The wall when it comes up, will help protect the small Israeli agricultural communities that live close to the border, who are the main targets of the Hamas militants. But it won’t be easy.
The wall has to be at least 30 meters deep if it is to prove an effective deterrent against the Gazan tunnel builders. The Israeli already are building a 430 mile wall on their border with the West bank. That wall follows the 1949 armistice line, also called the Green Line.
Gazans will be the losers if the wall is built
The Israelis are positive that the Gazan wall will help protect their people from rocket attacks emanating from Gazan soil. There is also the problem of the attack tunnels. As of now, the Israeli’s don’t have an answer to the problem. The wall is expected to change that.
But we must spare a thought for the Gazans here. When the Israelis started building the Green Line, people said that is was a ruse to usurp legitimate Palestinian lands. They were also blamed for putting the peace negotiations at risk because in some places, the border was chosen unilaterally.
The wall with the Gaza strip, when it comes up, will also prevent the Gazans from traveling to Israel for work or onward to the West Bank. What remains to be seen is how the Gazans will take the new wall.