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Could an offshore seaport be Gaza's salvation?

Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz continues to promote his idea of an artificial island and port off the Gaza coast and recently pitched it to President Donald Trump’s envoy.

Transportation and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz has been trying for the past three years to promote what he considers to be a creative response to the decade-long Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and a measure to prevent yet another round of fighting with Hamas. 

Katz's plan for a so-called civil separation from neighboring Gaza is essentially a sequel to the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from the territory orchestrated by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that saw Israel pull all its settlers and troops out of the coastal enclave. The central idea of the Katz plan is for an internationally funded, artificial island to be built near the Gaza coast. Katz believes that the construction of such an island could be used to open Gaza to international commerce and result in a true Israeli separation from Gaza, as Sharon would have wished.

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