Middle East

Israeli official: Gaza underground wall to be done in months

FILE -- In this  Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 file photo, heavy machinery works on a massive underground barrier on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza. On Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, an Israeli Southern Command official said the barrier being built along the Gaza border to defend against Hamas tunnels should be completed in a matter of months, dealing what he said would be a serious blow to the Islamic militant group. Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas official in Gaza, said the Israeli efforts would fail. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

FILE -- In this Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 file photo, heavy machinery works on a massive underground barrier on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza. On Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, an Israeli Southern Command official said the barrier being built along the Gaza border to defend against Hamas tunnels should be completed in a matter of months, dealing what he said would be a serious blow to the Islamic militant group. Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas official in Gaza, said the Israeli efforts would fail. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)  (The Associated Press)

A senior Israeli military official says a massive underground barrier being built along the Gaza border to defend against Hamas tunnels should be completed in a matter of months.

The Southern Command official said Sunday that the structure will include a wall deep below the ground as well as flooding parts of the roughly 60-kilometer (40-mile) border.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity under military briefing regulations, says the goal is to turn Hamas' underground network into a "death trap."

During a 2014 war, Hamas militants managed on several occasions to make their way into Israel through a tunnel network.

Israel destroyed some 32 tunnels during that conflict. The official says the military is investing great efforts to stop the threat.