Two years after Operation Protective Edge was carried out in the Gaza Strip, Israeli security forces have decided to step up plans to develop a new defense system called the Obstacle, which aims to address the threat of underground tunnels dug by Hamas forces coming from Gaza into Israel.
A representative of the Defense Ministry met with Southern Command officers to hammer out the details for accelerating the project's development. As Hamas tunnels pose a serious threat to Israel’s security, the Obstacle was granted significant funding to come up with a realistic solution.
The project itself is comprised of several lines of defense: technology used to combat underground threats such as Hamas-dug tunnels, erecting a “smart,” high-tech fence along the Gaza border (similar to the one along Israel's border with Egypt) and a system set to improve Israel’s responsiveness to rocket and mortar firing. All in all, the Obstacle is supposed to cost 2.2 billion NIS.
The Obstacle had been shelved for some time due to budgetary concerns, but following mounting pressure from residents living in settlements along the Gaza Strip, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced several months ago that “The budget will not be an impediment in fast tracking this project.”