A senior Israeli minister is seeking to win cabinet backing for an ambitious $5bn (£3.4bn) plan to ease the economic blockade of Gaza with an artificial island linked to the territory by a secure three-mile bridge.
Transport and intelligence minister Yisrael Katz’s argument for the island, which would include a seaport and possibly even an airport, is that it would restore Gaza’s links with the outside world without jeopardising Israeli security.
Access via the bridge could be tightly controlled by Israel or an Israel-approved international force.
Katz, whose department this week released an image of the putative 8 sq km (3 sq mile) island, said: “I do not think it is right to lock up 2 million people without any connection to the world. Israel has no interest to make life harder for the population there. But because of security concerns we can’t build an airport or seaport in Gaza.”
Though Katz is a prominent minister in the Likud party of prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the proposal has yet to win formal backing from Israel’s security cabinet.