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  • Heavy machinery can be seen at work along Israel

    Heavy machinery can be seen at work along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, as seen from Kfar Aza, southern Israel February 28, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

“Israel’s threats don’t frighten us, but we nevertheless aren’t seeking an escalation,” stated Hamas.

In response to Israel’s accelerated construction of an enormous underground wall and anti-tunnel barrier on the border with the Gaza Strip, the militant Palestinian group, Hamas, has insisted that it won’t deter their “resistance”.

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Israeli media has published new disclosures by the military about the project, which has cost US$1.1bn and is due to be completed within two years.

Israel has described it as a territorial counterpart to its Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor, capable of blunting Hamas's limited means of challenging its superior armed forces.

“The resistance in the Gaza Strip will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to defend the Palestinians from Israeli aggression,” said Hamas spokesperson Hazem Kassam, The Times of Israel reported.

The group also added, that despite Israel's ramped up aggression, they don't want to intensify the situation at this time.

“Israel’s threats don’t frighten us, but we nevertheless aren’t seeking an escalation. We don’t fear a conflict. All Israel’s efforts won’t bring it security as long as it continues to occupy our land and besiege our nation,” Kassam pressed.

The Israeli Defense Forces have been telling the media why the wall's construction has been speeded up.

Major General Eyal Zamir said it is in response to intelligence data which suggested that Hamas is expanding its underground tunnel network.

The barrier, first proposed in 2014 during Israel’s assault on Gaza during the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge, will be a 20-mile concrete wall, equipped with sensors to record any digging activity.

“If it tries to, Israel will defend this barrier in every way possible,” said Zamir. “This barrier will be built. Period. At any price.”

The tunnels have been used by militant Palestinian groups to fire rockets into Israel, in an act of resistance against Israeli occupation. They were used by Hamas in this way in 2014, resulting in the 50-day IDF campaign against Gaza, which left at least 2,251 Palestinians dead, including women and children.

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