The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said internal consultations have been underway over the construction of a seaport on Gaza’s coast.
Talks have been underway over the construction of a seaport on condition that Israel would monitor all shipments into Gaza to make sure they are not used by Hamas in anti-occupation attacks, Netanyahu told reporters.
from his side, Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz announced that he is working to advance plans to create an artificial island off the coast of Gaza that could improve the Palestinian enclave’s economic and humanitarian situation.
Katz told The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York that the venture would seek to connect the territory to the movement of people and goods
“The off-shore project could provide Gaza with an economic and humanitarian gateway to the world without endangering Israeli security,” he said.
Katz suggested that the project would relieve the Gazan population from the “pressure cooker” that has become the Strip, adding that it could serve as both a “buffer and a bridge.”
Katz has previously expressed his support for the prospect of a seaport in Gaza as part of efforts to completely sever the Palestinian territory from that of Israel.
“If we cut off from Gaza – we would be cut off from half of the Palestinian problem,” he told Israel Radio in March.
In his call for a port in the coastal Palestinian territory, Katz proposed that the international community should oversee access to such a terminal under Israeli security control.
Hamas has said that any long-term truce agreement with Israel should include the reopening of the airport and the building of a seaport in the Gaza Strip.
In February, the top Israeli official in charge of liaising between the government and the Palestinian territories said that if and when Israel did agree to the construction and operation of a seaport in Gaza, it would only be as part of understandings reached with the Palestinian Authority.
The Israeli occupation forces destroyed the Gaza airport during the 2000 anti-occupation intifada and have cordoned off the coastal enclave with a tight blockade for the 10th year running, blocking the access of Palestinian passengers and reconstruction materials out of and into the territory.