The Israeli army on Thursday (10 August) revealed details of their plan for building an underground wall along the 60km border with the Gaza Strip aimed at preventing infiltration, local media reported.
The concrete wall will run dozens of metres deep and will be fitted with sensors. It will also be six feet above ground level, the military said, noting that the project will cost around $1.1bn (£846m) and will help counter infiltration through Hamas tunnels leading outside of its coastal territory.
The Israeli army said that the border wall will complement its Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor that has been deployed to counter Hamas attacks.
However, Hamas has accused the country of lying about the aim behind building the wall. "The Israeli statements are lies and fabrications that aim to damage the image of the Palestinian resistance and justify the mass killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians," a Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, said according to Al Jazeera.
"I think the other side will have to re-evaluate the situation in view of the barrier's construction," the chief of Israel's southern command Major-General Eyal Zamir said in response to Hamas' allegations.
"If Hamas chooses to go to war over the barrier, it will be a worthy reason (for Israel) to go to war over. But the barrier will be built," he added.
The Israeli military warned that it has already mapped armed emplacements hidden under civilian sites in the Palestinian enclave that could be targeted if there is a war.
The military also published aerial photographs and coordinates of two Gaza buildings, alleging that the establishments were being used by Hamas as cover for tunnel networks. One of the buildings is a Hamas member's family home, linked to a mosque by a secret passage, the military added.
"These two targets, as far as I'm concerned, are legitimate military targets, and in the event that a new war begins, anybody in them is endangering himself, his family, and the responsibility (for their well-being) will fall on Hamas," Zamir told foreign journalists in a separate briefing.
Meanwhile, Israeli media also reported that the military is working on another plan to build an underwater barrier in the Mediterranean to prevent sea infiltration from Gaza.