Abu Khalid, a leader of the al-Quds Brigades, told Ma’an that the watchtower had been built 300 meters away from the borderline with Israel in the al-Farahin area in the southern Gaza Strip district of Khan Yunis.
He claimed that the Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank could be seen from the top of the tower, which he said was 16 meters high.
The tower was reportedly named after Diyaa Talahmah, a Palestinian youth who was killed by Israeli forces during clashes in the southern West Bank in September 2015.Abu Khalid said that the watchtower was an attempt to “give some tranquility of mind to the residents of the border areas, and to implant the spirit of resistance in the future generations,” and would be used to monitor the movement of Israeli army vehicles in the area.
He added that the watchtower was also to show support to “our people in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and Hebron in particular,” amid an ongoing wave of unrest that began last year.”
It is a confirmation of the national unity of our homeland and a message of challenge to the occupation,” Abu Khalid said.In July 2015, Islamic Jihad had reported that it had built another watchtower in the southern Gaza Strip.It remained unclear whether the watchtower lay within the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone” in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians who work near the “buffer zone” between the Palestinian enclave and Israel often come under fire from military forces, as the Israeli military has not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.
Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence.The near decade-long Israeli blockade has plunged the Gaza Strip’s more than 1.8 million Palestinians into extreme poverty and some of the highest unemployment rates in the world.
Gaza’s infrastructure has yet to recover from the devastation of three Israeli offensives over the past six years. The slow and sometimes stagnant reconstruction of the besieged coastal enclave has only been worsened by the blockade, leading the UN in September to warn that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.