Could Lieberman's Agreement on Gaza Cyprus Port Accord be Part of U.S. Century Deal?

Published June 27th, 2018 - 01:11 GMT
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman approves understanding with the Cypriot government on the establishment of a special pier for the Gaza Strip in Cyprus.(AFP/ File)
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman approves understanding with the Cypriot government on the establishment of a special pier for the Gaza Strip in Cyprus.(AFP/ File)
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has reached an understanding with the Cypriot government on the establishment of a special pier for the Gaza Strip in Cyprus.

Lieberman struck the agreement with Cypriot officials during his visit to the island, but stressed that the project’s implementation requires “Hamas” to hand over Israel’s soldiers, who have been held by the Qassam Brigades, the group's military wing, a source close to Lieberman said.

The source noted that the Israeli defense minister has received a preliminary approval from the Cypriot president, whom he met two days ago.

Under the plan, a special pier would be constructed for cargo ships carrying goods bound for Gaza, around 400 kilometers from Cyprus.

Any Cyprus idea would involve an Israeli monitoring system to ensure that weapons were not smuggled into Gaza. 

On the other hand, Israel has approved a plan to build a solar field in Israel to pump power into the Gaza Strip and ease the electricity crisis in the Palestinian enclave.

The panels would be set up near the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel as a unilateral measure, without the involvement of “Hamas”, according to unnamed sources in Israel’s defense ministry.

The step could change the situation in the power-starved territory, the sources said, adding that it was discussed this week with visiting US envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, who toured the Middle East ahead of the unveiling of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.

The original plan was to put the field in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, but Cairo rejected the initiative.

Officials in Israel and elsewhere have been scrambling to find ways to ease the humanitarian situation in the Strip and possibly fund new infrastructure projects, seen as a key to reducing violence in the beleaguered enclave.

Another reported plan to ease Gaza economic woes was to allow 6,000 residents to work in Israeli communities near the enclave.

However, that plan was said to have been shot down by Shin Bet security agency, which regards workers exiting Gaza as a security threat.

It said such a measure could provide “Hamas” with intelligence and be used to smuggle money into the Strip for “terror” purposes.
 
 
This article has been adapted from its original source.

Copyright © Saudi Research and Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

You may also like