Jan. 18 (UPI) — Officials in Israel on Thursday gave journalists a tour of a destroyed militant Islamist tunnel and a peek at construction of an underground wall they hope will thwart terrorist groups from digging their way into Israeli territory.
The massive underground barrier is the first of its kind in the world. The project, scheduled to be finished by the end of next year, is made of reinforced concrete walls that will run for 40 miles along the entire Israeli-Gaza border.
The wall will have underground sensors to help to detect any future tunnels and a fence almost 30 feet tall will help prevent crossings over ground.
As construction progresses, Israeli military expects to find and destroy several more attack tunnels that enter Israel from Gaza. During the last three months, Israeli forces destroyed three tunnels that penetrated Israel from Gaza.
Israel has been dealing with underground tunnels for years. In 2006, Palestinian fighters emerged from a tunnel near the Egyptian border, capturing one soldier and killing two others.
The solder was held for more than five years, released in return for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. In 2014, a Hamas squad used a tunnel to ambush and kill five Israeli troops.