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Israel rejects EU plan to link Gaza and West Bank

Monitoring Desk

JERUSALEM: An Israeli minister said his government has rejected an EU plan to link the Gaza Strip with the West Bank, according to Israeli media on Wednesday.

“I made it clear that Gaza will not be linked to Judea and Samaria (the Jewish designation of the West Bank),” Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told Israel Broadcasting Corporation.

“Their plan will remain on paper and they are completely rejected,” he said.

Israeli media said the EU had prepared a plan for transportation in the West Bank, including Area C, which constitutes about 60 percent of the occupied territory, which is under full Israeli civil and security control.

The plan includes “the establishment of an airport, a port and a railway to link the Gaza Strip with the West Bank”, the media said.

The EU did not officially inform the Israeli government of the plan.

Katz, meanwhile, proposed “shifting the full responsibility over the Gaza Strip to the international community, while keeping Israel’s security control on port”. Katz has been talking for years now about creating an artificial island off Gaza coast to allow imports and exports to reach the besieged Palestinian territory.

Palestinians insist on linking the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in any final peace agreement with Israel that leads to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. AA

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