The planned Palestinian state – a high altitude problem

The anticipated declaration of a Palestinian sovereign state, in September, is creating some thoughts and worries about aviation issues that will no doubt need a fast solution, if indeed there is one.

The two parts of the planned Palestinian state, the west bank and Gaza strip, do not have any operational aviation facilities. The west bank did not have one after the 1967 war. Gaza had an airport in Dahania, near the city of Rafha. This airport was the base of a Palestinian airline that was formed in the days of Yasser  Arafat. The  airport was bombed by Israel during one of the clashes and has not been rebuilt since.

If the UN supports the independence declaration of the Palestinian state in September, the new Palestinian government will soon have to find a solution to connect the new state to the world.

This will create a big headache for Israel. I don’t see the Israeli government allowing aircraft of any type taking off from the west bank or Gaza. The currently sea blockade on Gaza will not be solved by free flights. The same is applicable for the west bank. The threat of terrorist attacks is too imminent according to the Israeli general security service, that no prime minister will even bring it to a cabinet discussion.

The issue will be discussed soon after the anticipated declaration but the solution cannot be seen even on the far horizon and even in the clear skies of the area.

The recent reconciliation between the Palestinian leadership in the west bank with its Hamas counterpart in Gaza, has further complicated the problem that was already complicated.

It seems that only the active intervention of the US will pave the way to some sort of solution but even with such intervention no one is holding his breath.






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