The Defense Ministry has decided to resume construction work on the border fence in south Israel on Tuesday which had been suspended in the wake of Monday's terrorist attack which killed one person.
It is estimated that the construction of the fence in the "dune sector" where the attack took place will be completed within three weeks.
- IDF hits terror cell near Gaza fence
- Israel estimates Islamic Jihad behind attack
- South border clash leaves civilian, terrorists dead
The Defense Ministry said that construction has been fully resumed following a situation assessment which was held on Monday. The project manager, Brigadier-General Eran Ofir, informed the Ministry that workers and heavy machinery operators have been deployed in hundreds of sites where the fence is being erected.
Contractors reportedly raised concerns in the wake of Monday's attack but remain determined to complete the task as soon as possible.
IDF soldier directing tank near border (Photo: AP)
Security for the project is provided both by civilian companies and IDF forces in the field. Army posts have been added along the border in the past few months.
The posts have also been fortified for fear of long-range anti-tank missiles stored in Sinai and advanced models of RPG missiles owned by terrorist groups in Gaza. These have been utilized in Monday's border attack as well as in the terrorist attack in Eilat last August.
According to the Defense Ministry, more than 1,000 workers, 100 contractors and dozens of team leaders are operating in 600 points along the border. The Ministry stressed they are in constant contact with the contractors who are being briefed on the situation assessments.
Fence on southern border (Photo: Reuters)
Gaza Division's southern brigade commander Colonel Tal Hermoni stressed on Tuesday that the forces are in close contact with their Egyptian counterparts, who he said had tried to locate the terrorists behind the border attack inside Sinai.
On Monday, the US condemned the border attack. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the US condemns the attack against civilians in the strongest terms and noted that Washington "remains concerned about the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula and call for restraint on all sides."
"More broadly, we encourage the Egyptian government to find a lasting resolution to the issue of Sinai security," she told reporters at a regular news briefing.
While a senior Israeli official blamed the Islamic Jihad for the attack, other sources admitted that defense officials are still unclear as to who was behind the attack.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report
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