Israel's Security Concerns Take Precedence for Possible Gaza Seaport

(Ha'aretz) Amos Harel - Renewed discussion of a possible seaport in Gaza comes from a desire to seek long-term solutions that would help improve economic conditions there. At least five proposals are on the table, including building a port in Egyptian territory in Sinai in the Al Arish area, construction of an artificial port opposite the Gaza shoreline, building it on the Gaza coast itself, and earmarking quays in Cyprus or Ashdod for Gaza-bound shipments. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon is against any solution in which Israel does not have security control over merchandise coming into Gaza. Any outsourcing of security checks could cost Israel dearly. When efforts were made in the past to have security checks performed by a third party, they failed miserably. One prime example was seen after Israel's disengagement from Gaza in 2005, when European observers were stationed at the crossing and their supervision was superficial. Ya'alon is willing to examine two alternatives, which the Palestinians are unlikely to accept: opening a special quay for Gazan shipments in Ashdod, under Israeli supervision, or establishing a port in Al Arish where Egyptian security officials would check merchandize first, after which it would go through Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing for examination.

2016-02-24 00:00:00

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