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Palestinians on the Gaza City coast AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis
gaza island

Israel considering plans to build island off the coast of Gaza Strip

The island would cost billions and take years to construct but would protect Israeli security, according to the country’s government.

ISRAEL IS REPORTEDLY considering building an artificial island off the coast of the Gaza Strip which would be controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

The project proposes building a man-made island four kilometres long and two kilometres wide, AFP reports.

The project has been under development by the Israeli transport minister Yaakov Katz and has the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who would like to see the island managed by Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.

The idea would be to freeze out the Islamist movement Hamas who control the Gaza Strip which has effectively been cut off from the West Bank, which itself is under the control of Abbas’ opposition Fatah party.

The Gaza strip has also been under naval blockade since 2007 when Hamas kicked their then power-sharing rivals Fatah out of Gaza and assumed full control of the territory much to the concern of Israel and other Western allies.

The Guardian reports that the main aim of the plan from an Israeli viewpoint would be to to improve the quality of life for Palestinians in Gaza while ensuring Israel’s security.

The island would be linked to Gaza with by a four kilometre-long bridge which could take vehicles, trains and pipes for oil and gas.

It would have hotels, tourist areas, a marina with yachts and an airport and a seaport.

It is estimated that the project would cost up to $10 billion and would take up to 10 years to complete but it would create 100,000 jobs.

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority described the project as “pure fantasy” and said there were simpler ways for Israel to improve Palestinian lives.

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