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Israelis split over floating harbor off Gaza

Israeli officials announced their opposition to building a floating harbor off the Gaza coast, which Hamas condemned and considered to be another measure to tighten the siege on the Gaza Strip.
A model of an artificial island is displayed at the Transport Ministry in Jerusalem March 30, 2011. Israel is considering building an artificial island with sea and air ports off blockaded Gaza, as a long-term solution to shipping goods into the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, the transport minister said. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS TRANSPORT) - RTR2KLNK
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — During a meeting of Israel’s security Cabinet Aug. 5, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman expressed their objection to the plan by Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz to establish a port off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

Katz had revealed in January a plan to build a port by creating an artificial island just 4.5 kilometers (roughly 3 miles) off the Gazan coast. The port would have energy facilities and a runway for planes. The island would be linked to Gaza through a bridge with a security checkpoint. He said that international parties — which he did not name — would be in charge of funding and building the port that would be internationally controlled and monitored, so long as Israel would be in charge of the maritime security as well as inspection at the port.

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