Israel Plans to Build Artificial Island Off Gaza

Ramallah –Israeli sources said that Transportation Minister Israel Katz would present to US President Donald Trump a proposal to establish an artificial island off Gaza coast, in a measure that would contribute to the resumption of Israel-Palestinian peace talks.

Israel’s Channel 2 said that the establishment of an artificial island was a proposal that Trump would appreciate and would reflect the Israeli government’s desire to restart the Peace process.

Experts said that Trump was currently focusing on the means to push forward the peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

A local Israeli newspaper said that three main topics would be discussed during the US president’s upcoming visit to Israel.

Those include, according to the newspaper, promoting bilateral ties, working against common threats, and pushing the peace process forward.

Trump is scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem on May 22 and will later head to Bethlehem in the West Bank.

A US delegation landed on Friday in Israel to discuss special arrangements for the visit.

Earlier this week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was ready to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under Trump’s auspices.

Abbas noted he had informed Trump of his decision during their meeting at the White House the week before.

“We told him that we were ready to collaborate with him and meet the Israeli PM under his auspices to build peace,” Abbas told reporters during a joint news conference with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Ramallah.

“We reaffirm our commitment to peace based on justice, international legitimacy and the two-state solution, the pursuit of an independent and sovereign state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and living side by side with the State of Israel in security, peace and good-neighborly relations,” Abbas stated.

Israel is currently looking for international partners to finance the cost of building the artificial island, which would amount to $5 billion.

The country says that the island would be linked by a bridge to Gaza and give the Palestinians an outlet to the world without endangering Israeli security. The island would include a port and both desalination and power plants that would serve the Gaza Strip.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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