Israeli transport minister proposes offshore port for Gaza

Cairo: Israel’s transport minister has proposed building an offshore port for Gaza. The suggestion follows on from recent calls by the Qatari foreign minister to build a port in Gaza to help alleviate the suffering there.

Israel’s transportation minister Yisrael Katz has said Gaza should have its own airport and port.

“We should open the Rafiah crossing between Gaza and Egypt for an intermediate period, for goods and people to pass through, with supervision,” he said.

“At the same time, we should initiate the creation of an artificial island at sea, under international supervision and with international funding, roughly 4.5 km off the Gaza coast,” he continued. A model for the project has already been created, he said.

“On the island there will be a port, a power plant and water treatment plant, and eventually an airport. There could be hotels there, too. The island would be connected to Gaza by a bridge, which would have a security checkpoint in the centre.

“[The checkpoint] would be under full international control for 100 years, and under Israeli control at sea,” he suggested. “The Palestinians would be part of operating the port and airport, and staffing the hotels.”  [23/07/14]
 

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