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Trump administration wants Gulf investment in Gaza

According to Haaretz, one option being discussed is a solar energy project to be built in northern Sinai to supply Gaza with electricity

June 18, 2018 at 1:49 pm

The US wants Gulf nations to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars in economic projects” in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, Haaretz reported, “in an attempt to calm the security situation there and generate momentum before the White House presents its Middle East peace plan”.

According to the paper, citing unnamed “Israeli and Arab sources”, the idea will be raised when Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, the president’s special envoy, “speak this week with the leaders of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel”.

The pair hope to secure funding from the Gulf states, and “the cooperation of Israel and Egypt in implementing the economic projects”.

Haaretz says the sources highlighted Gaza’s energy supply as being of high priority. “This is an issue that is urgent, and at the same time, can be dealt with relatively quickly”, one said. “The Americans are counting on the Gulf states to help with the money necessary for solving it”.

The paper said that one option being discussed is a solar energy project to be built near the Egyptian town of El-Arish in northern Sinai.

“They want to secure money mostly for things that can be done right now,” one source said, adding:

“This is seen as a way to create a better reality in Gaza, and to showcase success and progress ahead of the presentation of the Trump peace plan

A long-term project “would be the construction of a port in northern Sinai and the building of a power plant and water desalination plant”.

The paper adds “the general framework of most of the projects is construction in northern Sinai near the Gaza border. Such undertakings could create jobs for thousands of Gazans”.

Haaretz noted that “these ideas originally ran into skepticism from the Egyptians but are now gaining renewed interest, especially if the White House can indeed secure funding from the Gulf”.