The destroyed Gaza International Airport

Palestinian backlash as Qatar proposes airport to be built in Gaza Strip

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Palestinian officials were reportedly concerned over reports that Qatar is aiming to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip; allegations which came following Qatar’s proposal of creating an international airport in Gaza.

According to Qatari ambassador, Mohammed al-Emadi, Israel is yet to respond. However, they did offer an alternative solution – to have an airport on the Israeli side for Palestinian use – but this was  promptly rejected.

Head of the Qatari delivery of aid to Gaza, al-Emadi told Reuters that the “Israeli side had security concerns and we told them we can resolve them by having the planes fly to Doha and return to Gaza from there and under Qatari security supervision”.

Despite claims of Qatar hoping to bring a better quality of life to Gaza residents, the PA has said moves like these actually counteract the intention, further deepening the divide between Palestinian factions.

The Gulf nation has been providing aid in the form of money and fuel to the Gaza Strip, which is received via political power party, Hamas. This has been openly criticised by the Palestinian Authority who believe that it is a backwards step in the reconciliation of Hamas and PA.

In 1998, there was an international airport in Gaza which was forced to close not long after when Israeli occupational forces bombed the runway and radar technology in 2001 during the second intifada. Should another airport be approved by Israel to be built, it would be an “assault on Palestinian sovereignty”, PLO official, Ahmad Majdalani told Al-Watan Voice.

“If Qatar cares about Palestine, ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state, it should not meddle in our affairs”, he said.

Palestinian Popular Struggle Front spokesperson, Mahmoud Al-Zaq believes  that “Qatar and its envoy, Al-Emadi, are exploiting the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip to pass American and Israeli schemes,” and are being used as a puppet to make Trump’s mysterious ‘deal of the century’ smoother sailing.