Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Will Gaza Airport Be under Permanent Israeli Control?

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Will Gaza Airport Be under Permanent Israeli Control?

Article excerpt

Will Gaza Airport be Under Permanent Israeli Control?

THE GAZA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, opened officially by President Clinton just one year ago, is to be expanded to accommodate Israeli passport and baggage control, which is now carried out five kilometers away at the Rafah crossing point. While the expansion of the passport control area will certainly make the airport more efficient than it is now, it will also mean that all air traffic into and out of Gaza will be under Israeli control indefinitely.

The $5 million expansion to allow the transfer of Israeli passport and baggage control to the main terminal will give Israeli security a hammerlock on deciding which passengers are allowed to enter and leave the Palestinian entity. About 700 passengers a week are now using the airport, which is served by seven different airlines at least once a week.

Other airport facilities will also be expanded shortly because the European Community has authorized the building of both air freight and additional taxi-ways to allow direct shipments to world markets of Palestinian goods for the first time. …

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