Israel rejects EU plan to link Gaza to the West Bank
MEMO: Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said his government rejected an EU plan to link the Gaza Strip with the West Bank by train, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.
“I made it clear that Gaza will not be linked to Judea and Samaria [the West Bank],” Katz told Israel Broadcasting Corporation, according to Anadolu. “Their plan will remain on paper and it is completely rejected.”
Israeli media said the EU had prepared a plan for transport in the occupied West Bank which included “the establishment of an airport, a port and a railway to link the Gaza Strip with the West Bank”. The EU did not officially inform the Israeli government of the plan.
Katz, meanwhile, proposed “shifting the full responsibility over the Gaza Strip to the international community, while keeping Israel’s security control on the port.” Meanwhile, the Knesset member Moti Yogev commenting on the EU plan saying: “The Europeans are acting insolently behind the back of the State of Israel, against the Israeli interest, with the aim of establishing a Palestinian state.”
EU officials dismissed the criticism stating: “We do not need approval from Israel to formulate the master plan on transportation, and therefore we did not ask for such approval. The project is part of the EU’s overall investment in the PA’s governmental activities and in the future vision for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”