A Palestinian airport – not in the near future

The peace ‬talks‪ between Israel and ‬the ‪Palestin‬ian authorities face‪ many hurdles that put a huge question mark ‬over‪ ‬this‪ chance to end the bloody conflict.‬

There are many issues on the table‬ -‪ one ‬being‪ ‬Palestine’s‪ demand to allow‬ the‪ operat‬ion of‪ an international airport from the ‬W‪est ‬B‪ank.‬

Before ‬the ‪Palestinian ‬authorities‪ ‬were‪ split between two factions‬:‪ Hamas‬,‪ controlling Gaza, and‬ the‪ Fatah controlling the ‬W‪est ‬B‪ank,‬ ‪the Yasser Arafat airport near Rafah served the Gaza strip‬ -‪ and ‬this‪ enabled the authority to launch an airline. ‬

However,‪ clashes with Israel brought‬ the‪ total destruction of this airport in 2001.‬

The peace process ‬- ‪under the auspice of Washington ‬-‪ will involve many issues that seem to be impossible to solve‬ – one ‪is the demand to allow the Palestinians to build and operate an airport.‬

Israeli sources say this is unacceptable. An airport, they say‬,‪ will enable “some elements” to stage terror acts using aerial platforms.‬

In Israel there is an understanding that the Palestinians will have to get an option to operate flights‬,‪ but this ‬will be ‪only after an agreement is achieved, and ‬after ‪a period of time in which there ‬are‪ indications that ‬the agreement is firm‪.  ‬

So‬,‪ for the foreseeable future even the ‬W‪est ‬B‪ank part of the Palestinian authority will not get its own airport.‬

The fact that the Palestinian authority is not yet a state is also complicating the issue. ‬Despite‪ the fact that there is a “cold peace” between Israe‬l,‪ Egypt and Jordan, there are flights that serve the route between the countries. ‬

Flights from Jordan also use Israeli airspace on their way to European destinations. ‬

However,‪ the situation with ‬Palestine‪ is totally different.  ‬

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