Palestinians, Egyptians Planning Airports, Seaport, Railway

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Palestinian Authority and Egypt have been developing plans for two airports, a seaport and a railway line linking the Gaza Strip and Cairo, Haaretz reported on Monday, quoting the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

The two airports include one to thee east of Yericho, and another on land designated as Area C — land currently under Israeli security and administrative control.

Palestinian Transportation Minister Nabil Dmeidi, currently in Cairo, said that the PA has signed an agreement with Egypt’s civil aviation authority for its expert assistance.

Dmeidi, who is also the chairman of Palestinian Airlines, said that they are also in talks about a railway line between Gaza and Cairo, as well as a seaport in the Gaza Strip.

In the late 1990s, Palestinian Airlines operated from Gaza International Airport, flew tens of thousands of passengers a year to Middle Eastern destinations and planned to expand to Europe. But it shut down operations in 2005 due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Service resumed in 2012, from the Egyptian city of el-Arish.

Gaza’s international airport, named after former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, was destroyed during the second Palestinian intifada by the IDF in the early 2000s.