The Israeli occupation authorities are considering the provision of “safe crossings” and flights for Palestinians by reopening Ramon Airport to them. The airport is in southern Israel, about 220 kilometres (137 miles) from Gaza.
According to Israel’s KAN public broadcaster, the move would be conditional upon the Palestinian Authority withdrawing its lawsuits against Israel filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Moreover, the reopening of flights for Palestinians is also conditional upon “political calmness”.
If approved, Palestinians in the West Bank will no longer need to cross into Jordan in order to fly overseas. A shuttle system will be arranged with a security-check mechanism that allows them to go from the West Bank directly to the Israeli airport. The plan is supported by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and has been announced during US President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East.
The ICC recognised in a February 2021 ruling that it has jurisdiction over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This has paved the way for cases to be brought against Israel over alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Biden arrived in Israel yesterday on his first regional tour that also includes the occupied West Bank and Saudi Arabia.