By August 28, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Why Should Gaza Need Israel’s Permission To Rebuild An Airport?

Hamas armed wing calls for negotiations delegation to leave Cairo

One of the demands made by Hamas was that they be permitted by Israel to rebuild their airport. The airport itself was opened by then U.S. President Bill Clinton. It was intended to be a strong symbol of a future Palestinian state that still has not come to fruition.

Gazans were euphoric over the airport’s opening, gathering by the thousands at its gates to watch the landing of the first Palestinian Airlines. For three years, many Palestinians and others used the Gazan airport.

But then, after those three short years, the airport was closed by Israel, when the Israeli Defense Forces bombed it. First the IDF bombed the control tower. After that they bombed the runway. Finally they destroyed the beautiful Moroccan-style terminal.

By December 2001, Israel brought in armored bulldozers which crushed the remaining ghost of an airport into dozen pieces. Why? It wasn’t that any attack was carried out from the airport, but in response to an attack that killed four Israeli soldiers, the Israeli government decided on the attack on the civilian airport as a matter of “collective punishment.”

In a final act of destruction, IDF F16 jets destroyed the civilian airport’s radar control center and exterior camera security system.

But last Tuesday, Hamas leader, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, said that Gazans shouldn’t need anyone’s permission to build a seaport and airport. 

“The future is for us, not for the occupation,” he said. “We have two goals: rebuilding every house destroyed in the war and to take a decision of the next war against the Israeli occupation on our own.”

Was he right? What right does the Israeli government have to tell Gaza that they may not rebuild their airport? Moreover, what right did the IDF have to destroy this civilian airport in the first place?

If you agree that Gaza has the right to self-determination, and to have a fully-functioning airport, without fearing that the IDF will bomb it again, then share this story with someone who needs to hear this.

About the author: M.B. David is the author of several scholarly works on Middle Eastern politics, history and religion, such as People of the Book: What the Religions Named in the Qur’an Can Tell Us About the Earliest Understanding of “Islam” as well as the recently published Sci-Fi novel Sleeper Cell 2240: Memoires of the 21st Century Interplanetary Revolution. He is currently working on his doctorate, writing a dissertation focused on the non-profit Hashlamah Project Foundation and associated global study circles.

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