A sign which reads "follow the arrows to the building site" across the road from the entrance to one of the Gaza border communities is the only hint as to what is truly taking place on Israel's border with the Strip.
At this undisclosed location on the border with Gaza, and under heavy security, a civilian contracting company, working in conjunction with the Solel Boneh company is working on the IDF's largest project ever—"the barrier"—costing NIS 2.5 billion to finally put an end to the threat posed by Hamas terror tunnels.
The barrier project is comprised of three components: the construction of a concrete barrier reaching several stories underground, the construction of a barrier several stories tall along the length of the border, and equipping both with a wide range of defensive technologies.
Despite the importance placed on the project by military officials and political leaders, it is at risk of being de-funded, as no financial resources have been allocated to its implementation for fiscal years of 2017-2018. However, officials from the Ministry of Defense have emphasized that the project will not be delayed, while the Ministry of Finance has reassured that there is, in fact, a budget earmarked for its continuation.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu promised that the monies will not be a limiting factor (for the construction of the barrier), and he must stand by his word," said MK Haim Yelin (Yesh Atid) and resident of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, located less than a mile from Gaza. "Creating a budget for each section of the barrier will triple the cost, thus potentially bringing the project to a halt."