The Israeli Minister of Intelligence, Israel Katz, is promoting a $5 billion plan to build an island off the Gaza Strip that would give Palestinians in besieged Gaza a seaport, and maybe a hotel and an international airport, he said.
The Minister said, “The Jewish state is actively seeking financial partners for the $5 billion project,” according to the Washington Post. Katz cited Saudi Arabia as a possible donor for the Project and China as a possible implementer of it.
He said the plan is being debated in Israel’s security cabinet, where it has strong support. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is exploring the option but has not yet made a determination,” said an Israeli official involved in the talks.
Israel's Gaza island proposal could make life better for Gazans, while Hamas prioritize destroying Israel https://t.co/JfUM3BRSvt
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) June 21, 2016
The Intelligence Minister said he has briefed Obama administration officials on the proposal.
According to the Washington Post, “The Israelis envision the port complex to be constructed atop a man-made island — dredged with sand from the sea bottom, measuring four square miles — that would be located three miles offshore and connected to the mainland by a two-lane bridge”.
Israel believes that constructing a bridge will allow it to tightly control the sea port and in case of the outbreak of hostilities in the future, it will be able to shut it down.
This news came at a time of reports about a possible Turkish-Israel reconciliation that partially includes lifting the siege imposed on Gaza by Israel. Some suggest that such a proposal would be a perfect recipe for the Israeli government which wants complete control of Gaza, without paying the cost of the occupation.