Proposal from transport and intelligence minister designed to restore transport and cargo links without jeopardising security
A senior Israeli minister is seeking to win cabinet backing for an ambitious $5bn (£3.4bn) plan to ease the economic blockade of Gaza with an artificial island linked to the territory by a secure three-mile bridge.
Transport and intelligence minister Yisrael Katz’s argument for the island, which would include a seaport and possibly even an airport, is that it would restore Gaza’s links with the outside world without jeopardising Israeli security.
Access via the bridge could be tightly controlled by Israel or an Israel-approved international force.
Hamas has long demanded a Gaza seaport in return for a long-term truce, but ministers say this could be used to import weapons.
Katz, whose department this week released an image of the putative 8 sq km (3 sq mile) island, said: “I do not think it is right to lock up 2 million people without any connection to the world. Israel has no interest to make life harder for the population there. But because of security concerns we can’t build an airport or seaport in Gaza.”