Monday, 10 February 2014

Palestinian official: Israel may attack Gaza to undermine peace plan

GAZA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erikat said on Monday that Israel may wage a war on the Hamas- ruled Gaza Strip to foil an expected peace plan of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would attack Gaza if Kerry is going to propose a practical peace plan that is based on international law, Erikat told Xinhua.

"This is a possible reaction to avoid signing a peace deal," Erikat said.

He added Israel's recent threats against Gaza are very dangerous, urging the international community to take what Israel is preparing for into consideration.

On Kerry's peace plan that is expected to be proposed soon, Erikat said the Palestinian side has not received anything from the Americans so far.

The U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis resumed last July and are set to end in April.

However, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have said on various occasions that no tangible progress had been achieved in the process.

Cross-border violence between Israel and Gaza militants has escalated recently, raising fears of a possible collapse of a one- year shaky cease-fire brokered by Egypt. more

PA plans airport in West Bank, seaport and railway in Gaza

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Transport has been working with Egypt to prepare plans for an airport in the occupied West Bank and a seaport and railway line in the Gaza Strip, a minister said Sunday.

Nabil Dmeidi, PA minister of transport and chairman of Palestinian Airlines, told Ma'an that the transport ministry has signed a protocol of cooperation with Egypt's civil aviation authority in order to benefit from Egyptian expertise.

The airport is planned to be built east of Jericho and Egyptian experts are due to visit the West Bank to explore possible locations for a second smaller airport on land currently designated as Area C, under full Israeli security and administrative control.

Dmeidi, who is currently visiting Cairo, added that a plan is being discussed to build a railway line between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, with the nearest Egyptian railway station 70 kilometers away in Beer al-Abed.

Plans are also being discussed to build a seaport in the Gaza Strip, he added.

The Yasser Arafat International Airport in Gaza was destroyed by Israel's military during the Second Intifada and now lies in ruins. more