Date: 22 / 02 / 2007 Time: 18:46

Jericho – Ma’an – The Israeli daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, has revealed that a new Palestinian airport is due to be built near Jericho.

The newspaper states that the Japanese government plans to establish a civilian airport to ease cargo and commercial transport for Palestinians, especially within the agricultural industry, and also to make it easier for Japanese tourists to access the Dead Sea, Jericho and the rest of the West Bank. It is not yet clear whether Israel or the Palestinian Authority would have control over the airport, aerospace, immigration or security.

The newspaper continued, “the project, along with several other projects, such as establishing “The Valley of Peace” initiative – a joint Palestinian-Israeli-Jordanian scheme related to tourism, agriculture and transport infrastructure, were reviewed by the ministerial committee for regional economic development, presided over by the deputy Prime Minister [of Israel], Shimon Peres in their Wednesday session.

“This committee also reviewed the establishment of an industrial zone near Jenin, to be funded by the German government, and discussed a Turkish proposal to rebuild the industrial zone near the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza.

It is alleged that the Israeli minister of transport, Shaul Mofaz, suggested to the committee the development of the Jordanian Aqaba airport, “to become a joint Israeli-Jordanian airport”, serving the neighbouring resorts of Eilat and Aqaba. Discussions with Mofaz’ Jordanian counterpart were said to be “fruitful”.


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