The Israeli navy is building a sea barrier off the coast of the Gaza Strip, ahead of the planned withdrawal from the territory this summer. The aim is to prevent Palestinian terrorists from swimming to Israel and infiltrating by sea. Military sources say the barrier is necessary because Israel will lose surveillance systems when it pulls out of Gaza. The sea barrier follows the construction of the controversial land barrier in Judea and Samaria, which aims to keep suicide bombers out. The Palestinians are furious. "I hope the Israeli mentality of barriers will end," said chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, adding that Israel is turning the “West Bank" and Gaza into prisons.