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Deal of the century: Palestinian airport, port in Egypt’s Sinai

March 9, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Palestinian security forces take security measures at the Rafah border gate on 18 November, 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

America’s “deal of the century” which is set to bring an end to the 70-year-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict includes setting up airports and ports for Palestinians on Egyptian land and will take 30 years to be fully realised, senior Fatah sources have said.

Speaking to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the sources said the plan seeks to establish a fragmented Palestinian state with gradually expanding borderlines that shall include a seaport on the Egyptian coast of Rafah in the area adjacent to the besieged Gaza Strip, in addition to setting up an airport in the same area.


The sources added that the vision, which has been introduced to close circles, starts with the establishment of a free trade area on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, which will be gradually expanded through the buffer zone, which Egypt has taken a long way to expand over the last two years.

The sources added that the vision also includes the establishment of a service area for the Gaza Strip on Egyptian territory, such as the establishment of a giant power station and fuel tanks, financed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, on condition that a formula would be found to manage these projects, which include an airport, port and service area, under international supervision. The ownership of this area will be then transferred to and gradually introduced within the borders of a Palestinian state, in accordance with the details of the “deal of the century”. This will take years, they added.

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On 26 October 2014, Egypt began setting up a buffer zone of about  500 metres in width and 14 kilometres in length along its border with the Gaza Strip to “prevent the flow of terrorists”, after the incident that targeted Egyptian soldiers and killed 33.


Situation of Arabs regarding Jerusalem - Cartoon [Al Araby Al Jadeed]

Situation of Arabs regarding Jerusalem – Cartoon [Al Araby Al Jadeed]

The area was later expanded to about 2 kilometres in depth before the Governor of North Sinai, Major General Abdul Fattah Harhur, announced in October 2017 the beginning of the third phase of the buffer zone plan along the borderline with the Gaza Strip, without providing any further details.


Israeli reports have revealed that dismissed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan has concluded an agreement with Egypt which would see a power plant being built in Egyptian Rafah funded by the UAE, which will be dedicated to meeting the needs of the Gaza Strip.

Numerous reports have said that Saudi Arabia is applying pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to accept the US’ latest peace deal. The Kingdom’s Neom megaproject is included in the terms of the deal as it includes construction in Sinai and along the Red Sea.