Israel Stands in Way of Qatar's Doha-Gaza Air Link Proposal

Published December 12th, 2018 - 07:34 GMT
The Qatari envoy to Israel and the Gaza Strip Mohammed Al-Emadi. (Asharq Alawsat)
The Qatari envoy to Israel and the Gaza Strip Mohammed Al-Emadi. (Asharq Alawsat)

Qatar’s point man to Israel and Gaza, Mohammad al-Emadi, revealed that Doha has proposed to Tel Aviv allowing an air link between it and the Hamas-ruled strip. Israel, however, rejected the proposal.

Israel says the restrictions are to stop weapons entering the Strip and to isolate Hamas, which has controlled Gaza’s two million population since 2007.

“They [Israel] said it would be discussed and they procrastinated... We will renew our request,” Emadi told a Gaza-based news agency called SAWA.

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“The Israeli side was concerned about security. But we told them that it is possible to find a solution for security by planes going and returning to Gaza solely through Doha, under Qatari security supervision,” Emadi added.

Israel has not responded, Emadi said, but proposed that such an airport be built on its side of the border - an idea the diplomat said had been rejected by Qatar.

He said Doha has asked Israel to solve Gaza’s energy problems, in addition to allowing for a port and the airport to transform the strip to a productive spot.

“This is my idea of creating a free economy in the Gaza Strip,” Emadi said while noting that Palestinians have trained human resources and operates in a professional and disciplined manner.

Speaking on inhibitors blocking the erecting of an airport in the Hamas-ruled territory, Emadi said “the idea of an airport can be applied, but it needs an official government in Gaza.”

“This is the biggest problem,” he added.

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