Palestinians Plan Airports in West Bank, Seaport and Railway in Gaza

PA transportation minister says cooperation agreement reached with Egypt.

The Palestinian Authority and Egypt have been working on plans for building two airports in the West Bank, as well as seaport and railway line between the Gaza Strip and Cairo, Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported Monday.

Palestinian Transportation Minister Nabil Dmeidi, currently in Cairo, told Ma'an that the PA has signed an agreement with Egypt's civil aviation authority to utilize Egyptian professional experience.

The report said that plans are being made for two West Bank airports: one to be east of Jericho, and another on land designated as Area C – land currently under Israeli security and administrative control. It added that a delegation of Egyptian experts will visit the West Bank to find a suitable location for the second, smaller airport.

Dmeidi, who is also the chairman of Palestinian Airlines, said that the sides are also considering plans for a railway line between Gaza and Cairo, as well as a seaport in the Strip.

In the late 1990s, Palestinian Airlines operated from Gaza International Airport, flew tens of thousands of passengers a year to Middle Eastern destinations and planned to expand to Europe.

It ceased operations in 2005 due to the deepening enmities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but resumed service in 2012, based out of the Egyptian city of el-Arish.

Gaza's international airport, named after former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, was destroyed be the Israeli military during the second Palestinian intifada in the early 2000s.