The Security Cabinet met Sunday to discuss ideas to improve the quality of life in the Gaza Strip and help stave off a humanitarian crisis. Here are some of the ideas the cabinet is discussing that have been proposed over the years:
1) Intelligence and Transportation Minister Israel Katz has long pushed the idea of constructing an artificial island off the coast of the Gaza Strip, with plans for a port, cargo terminal and even an airport to boost the territory’s economy and connect it to the world. According to the plan, an international consortium would build the 1,300-acre island some three miles offshore, connecting it to the mainland via a causeway, which would have a bridge in the middle that could be raised, cutting off access.EREZ CROSSING
2) Deputy Minister Michael Oren has proposed a plan to use the Erez crossing – until now reserved just for people – to transfer goods and supplies into the Gaza Strip. The idea would be to connect it to the Ashdod port via railway. Oren claims that this plan is more practical and cheaper than Katz’s island idea. Similar ideas in the past have called to establish a pier in Ashdod that would be used exclusively for the Palestinians and be run jointly by Israeli and Palestinian custom officers.
3) United Nations Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov has crafted a plan under which factories and infrastructure to aid the recovery of Gaza would be established in the Sinai Peninsula using funds raised by the UN. The multi-billion dollar plan includes construction of industrial zones, desalination plants, a power station and construction plants all in northern Sinai.GAZA PORT/PRISONER EXCHANGE
4) A former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) official suggested Sunday on Army Radio reaching a deal with Hamas under which Israel would allow the opening of the existing Gaza Port in exchange for the return of Israeli citizen Avera Mengistu as well as the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. The port, according to the official, would be supervised by Germany, one of Israel’s closest allies in the European Union and a past mediator in prisoner exchanges between Israel and various terrorist organizations.TEXTILE JOBS
5) MK Haim Jelin, who lives in Kibbutz Nahal Oz along the Gaza border, has had contact with a Spanish textile corporation to encourage the company to invest in an existing Gaza textile factory that currently employs 300 people. Jelin has said he is convinced that the negotiations will lead to the creation of more than 3,000 jobs in the Strip. Jelin turned to textiles because at its peak, the industry employed close to 6,000 people in the Gaza Strip, and related fields supporting the industry employed thousands more.WORK IN ISRAEL
6) The IDF has reportedly recommended issuing 10,000 permits to Gazans so they can enter Israel for work in agriculture and construction. This would be done under the supervision of the Shin Bet, which has opposed such measures.