Residential apartment blocks and commercial buildings stand on the skyline near the waterfront in Gaza City, Gaza. (Photographer: Shawn Baldwin/Bloomberg)

Israel Begins Construction of Barrier on Gaza Border

(Bloomberg) -- Israel has started construction of an “above-ground barrier” on the Gaza border to keep terrorists from infiltrating overland, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

Netanyahu, who spoke at the beginning of a cabinet meeting, added that if the Gaza border doesn’t remain quiet, Israel “won’t hesitate to act,” despite upcoming April elections.

Hamas has been organizing “March of Return” demonstrations on the Gaza border, with the declared aim of reclaiming homes in Israel that Palestinians fled or were expelled from in the fighting surrounding the Jewish state’s 1948 creation. Demonstrators have repeatedly tried to enter Israel, assault soldiers with explosives and rocks, and have launched hundreds of incendiary kites and balloons to destroy farmland and nature reserves across the border.

In April, Saar Koursh, then-CEO of Magal Security Systems Ltd., which built the existing Gaza fence, said that thousands of Palestinians marching on the Gaza Strip’s border could trample the 10-foot-high structure that separates the Hamas-ruled territory from Israel. The fence was built to give real-time warning if somebody tries to breach it, but not to stop riots, he said at the time.

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