Israel officially declared it will build a long-promised security wall on the Gaza border to stop Palestinians from entering through tunnels. The Nov. 12 announcement by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was short on details, leaving room for a lot of speculation. It did not specify whether the wall will consist of a land barrier parallel to the border fence encircling the Gaza Strip, a deep ditch along the border fence or a cement wall at the base of the fence like the West Bank wall.
Al-Monitor attended a workshop held Nov. 18 by the Palestinian Institute for Strategic Studies in Gaza. Prominent Palestinian academics and political, economic and security analysts participated in the gathering, which focused on the Israeli wall issue. The participants excluded the possibility that Israel Defense Forces will build a cement or iron wall that extends underground to prevent the construction of tunnels, since the budget allocated to the IDF is not likely to allow such an option. Workshop participants estimated such a project would require about $2 billion.