Israel suggests US$5 billion island port off Gaza Strip

The Israeli Government is considering building a US$5 billion artificial island that could house a seaport, airport and possibly a hotel.

The proposed island would lie 2.6 nautical miles off the Gaza Strip, connected by a two-lane bridge, allowing access to the port to be tightly controlled.

The island's port could be used to handle goods imported and exported from Gaza, the Washington Post reported. The current route in and out is through a crossing with Egypt that has been closed for most of the past two years. There are another two routes directly through Israel which are closely monitored and heavily restricted.

The project could be carried out by Chinese or Saudi Arabian contractors, or possibly by a local entrepreneur, Israel Katz, Israel's minister of transport, national infrastructures and road safety, told the Post.

Katz suggested there would be a checkpoint in the middle of the bridge staffed by neutral international authorities and the island wouldn't be owned by any single country.

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