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Israeli minister proposes building island off Gaza coast so Israel can ‘disengage’ while maintaining siege

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Last week, Israeli military-intelligence officials, foreign military, and business representatives gathered for two days near Tel Aviv at the first “Intelligence, Terror and Special Forces in the Global Jihad Era and the Information Revolution” defense conference. As attendees sipped lattes and browsed the latest intelligence technology for sale, Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Transportation Yisrael Katz shared plans to build an Israeli-controlled island off the coast of Gaza as a way for Israel to “disengage” from the embattled strip while maintaining the eight-year-siege.

“We have to disengage from the Gaza Strip,” Katz declared. His statement lays bare the reality of Israel’s continued occupation. While Israeli officials often publicly claim that Israel “left” Gaza in 2005 when it evacuated and destroyed its settlements, Gaza has remained under Israeli occupation, a crippling siege and a naval blockade.

Katz’s position reflects the desire in military intelligence circles to further extricate Israel from affairs in the Gaza Strip while still maintaining ultimate control over it. A year removed from the 51-day war, which killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, Israel and Hamas are in indirect negotiations. The ceasefire conditions that Hamas listed have not been implemented, and the supposed plans to restore Gaza’s airport and construct a seaport have not materialized.

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He reiterated what is known as the Singapore option, in which some in the military-intelligence apparatus propose to build an island and seaport off of Gaza’s coast. This would allow Israel to maintain the naval blockade while allowing import and export of goods and facilitating travel. Military planners have gone as far as measuring a sea shelf 17 kilometers out with the idea of a bridge connecting the prospective island to the shore, according to Katz.

“This island can be controlled. We can maintain the blockade and have the island,” the minister said. As has been outlined before, Katz said the islands would have hotels and tourists.

While the floating harbor plans have slowly advanced, Katz admitted this remains an extremely unlikely option. “Why hasn’t this happened until now? Security systems are very conservative and are not willing to take steps,” the minister said.

“We aren’t interested in having a hug with Gaza,” Katz continued. “That was the case when there were settlements. Now we don’t want to hug and embrace.”

With no Israeli settlements inside Gaza, the evacuation untied the military’s hands to “mow the lawn” – a euphemism for the extreme violence employed in the last three Israeli wars on Gaza.

Katz thanked the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. “Egypt makes an effort to block the Gaza Strip. It’s not hermetic but we should welcome it,” he said. “They dont want to take responsibility of Gaza.”

Speaking about the recent flotilla which Israeli commandos raided in international waters, tasing a passenger and subsequently lying about it, Katz said, “There was a temptation to let the flotilla pass but that would break the right of every country to protect its borders.”

By this statement, it’s clear the Israeli government considers the international waters surrounding the Gaza Strip within its borders.

Meanwhile, as the Israeli government schemes to extricate itself from its legal responsibilities as an occupying power without ending the occupation, the Gaza Strip remains in almost the same catastrophic condition it was on the day of the final ceasefire last summer. Since then, Israeli officials have both called for another major military operation as well as negotiations with Hamas. For now, indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas continue, though the spectre of another war is never far off. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated yesterday at a Gaza war memorial: “I say to all enemies of Israel — Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and the Islamic State, too — whoever tries to harm us, their blood is upon their heads.”

Dan Cohen

Dan Cohen is an independent journalist and filmmaker based in Palestine. He tweets at @dancohen3000.

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53 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson on July 7, 2015, 12:51 pm

    RE: “As attendees sipped lattes and browsed the latest intelligence technology for sale, Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Transportation Yisrael Katz shared plans to build an Israeli-controlled island off the coast of Gaza as a way for Israel to ‘disengage’ from the embattled strip while maintaining the eight-year-siege.” ~ Dan Cohen

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  2. John O on July 7, 2015, 12:52 pm

    This is getting too surreal. I may have to listen to an old “Goon Show” to bring me back down to some sort of sense of reality.

  3. talknic on July 7, 2015, 1:32 pm

    Israeli Minister of Intelligence ? Palestinian territorial waters and non-Israeli territories are within Israeli borders? The poor man.

    “Katz said the islands would have hotels and tourists”

    Palestinian territorial waters are Occupied Territory, subject to GC IV, adopted to protect all civilians. The moron wants to build a military base on an Island in Occupied Territory. It would be a valid military target. Tourists and hotels? He’s completely insane!

    • Froggy on July 7, 2015, 2:39 pm

      Who wants to holiday on a military base?

      • eljay on July 7, 2015, 2:54 pm

        || talknic: … The moron wants to build a military base on an Island in Occupied Territory. It would be a valid military target. Tourists and hotels? He’s completely insane! ||

        Since Israel already has “Iron Dome”, perhaps it can name this new military-base-cum-tourist resort “Human Shield”.

      • Froggy on July 7, 2015, 4:09 pm

        Eljay : ‘Since Israel already has “Iron Dome”, perhaps it can name this new military-base-cum-tourist resort “Human Shield”.’

        The idea is too stupid for words. There are so many really beautiful beaches and beach resorts all over Europe.

        Who would want to holiday in the line of fire?

      • amigo on July 7, 2015, 2:56 pm

        “Who wants to holiday on a military base?” Froggy.

        That,s the reason I would not holiday in Israel.It,s one big military base.The other reason is , I cannot find a map.Anyone know where I can get one.

        Yonah/ivri/hopknee/catalan/grover palikari—–anyone.

      • Froggy on July 7, 2015, 3:46 pm

        amigo : That,s the reason I would not holiday in Israel.It,s one big military base.The other reason is , I cannot find a map.Anyone know where I can get one.

        The borders are wherever the Israelis say they are, and those borders are always changing. Maybe if we wait long enough Israel will move its borders to Reykjavík, which would mean that they will have absorbed Ireland, as well as the UK, France, and the rest of Europe. (Of course, the US would support them in their acquisitions.)

        So just wait…. If you don’t go to Israel, Israel will come to you. ;)

      • amigo on July 7, 2015, 4:17 pm

        “Maybe if we wait long enough Israel will move its borders to Reykjavík, which would mean that they will have absorbed Ireland,”Froggy

        They might find the climate somewhat intemperate here , as we are all antisemites and everyone knows we spend our time drinking and fighting .The last lot finally got the message after 600 years.I,m not so sure Zionists have the necessary staying power to last too long and as Ireland is one big lawn , it won,t be so easy to mow it.

        But thanks for the post .It is funny.

      • eljay on July 7, 2015, 9:03 pm

        || Froggy: The idea is too stupid for words. … Who would want to holiday in the line of fire? ||

        Zio-supremacists who could then complain with great indignation that “the Hamas” hates them for their freedoms.

    • Kay24 on July 7, 2015, 4:25 pm

      Insanity is part of the zio psyche. The lunatics are running the asylum, and it is easy to tell. He certainly looks like he is not all there.

  4. a blah chick on July 7, 2015, 1:42 pm

    “This island can be controlled. We can maintain the blockade and have the island,” the minister said. As has been outlined before, Katz said the islands would have hotels and tourists.”

    So, he wants to put hotels and tourists off shore from a blockaded enclave that his country claims is infested with ISIS-loving ne’er-do-wells who’d cut your throat after raping your dog.

    I’d say more but I’m about to have Scanner moment.

  5. a blah chick on July 7, 2015, 1:53 pm

    I think Mr Katz is trying to spend all that juicy gas money before it’s even been collected.

  6. eljay on July 7, 2015, 2:23 pm

    Mr. Katz is both a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist and an idiot.

    • Boo on July 8, 2015, 1:35 pm

      Apparently there are some in the government who believe “minister” is spelled m-o-n-s-t-e-r.

  7. michelle on July 7, 2015, 3:09 pm

    .
    the truth within lies
    .
    build a ‘boat/island’ and put ‘them’ on it
    then the land will be all ours all Israel
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  8. a blah chick on July 7, 2015, 4:09 pm

    Froggy sez “So just wait…. If you don’t go to Israel, Israel will come to you. ;)”

    Bwahahahahaha!

  9. Kay24 on July 7, 2015, 4:40 pm

    Jake Tapper on CNN just had Avner Gvaryahu on his show. It was unfortunate I missed most of it, but it sounded very interesting, when he stated that across the lines, from many units, including top officials all admitting that they were instructed to kill anyone, and that they were told to kill anyone not holding up a white flag. It was obvious it included ALL men.

    What more proof does the international community want that these zionists from Israel are ruthless and that Netanyahu LIED (bad habit now) when he said civilians were not targeted.

  10. Dagon on July 7, 2015, 6:55 pm

    Me thinks the island will come with its own gas rich territorial waters.

  11. RoHa on July 7, 2015, 7:03 pm

    And those drilling rigs on the artificial Island are, of course, purely for research purposes.

  12. RoHa on July 7, 2015, 7:06 pm

    Since the U.S. takes such a dim view of the Chinese extensions to islands in the South China Sea, I’m sure it will be equally opposed to this proposal.

    • catalan on July 7, 2015, 7:28 pm

      “Since the U.S. takes such a dim view of the Chinese extensions to islands in the South China Sea, -” RoHa
      Dim indeed – US China trade for 2014 almost 800 billion, on track to be 1 trillion within the next five years.
      I wouldn’t want to imagine what a non-dim view would look like.

    • ritzl on July 7, 2015, 8:11 pm

      Bingo, Roha.

      And as a lot of people have already mentioned upthread, is the unspoken intention/consequence of this proposal to create new Israeli territory/territorial waters?

      From what evil genius “hat” does 17 km get pulled? Why was a floating island ruled out?

      I think you nailed it.

      • Paldi5 on July 8, 2015, 7:50 pm

        Right… the objective is to block Gaza’s rights to any open waters. Israel, with this man made island will usurp and claim all access and mineral/gas rights to waters off the Gaza coast, effectively blocking the proposed Gaza port and perhaps airspace access to the proposed Gaza airport.

  13. Kris on July 8, 2015, 12:24 am

    Building a Zionist island is a terrific idea, except that it should be located in international waters somewhere in the Pacific, far, far away from any other land. It would be a haven for all the Jews who don’t want to live in peace, justice and equality with the Palestinians.

    An island nation known as the “Floating Jewish State of Israel” would be a win/win/win/win for the whole world, and would be well worth whatever it cost.

    • oldgeezer on July 8, 2015, 12:47 am

      @Kris

      “It would be a haven for all the Jews who don’t want to live in peace, justice and equality with the Palestinians. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments#sthash.rDqMRbdx.dpuf

      Maybe they could call it Zionista or Zionistan. or more simple merely Zion as it would include all zionists.

      Even laughably so called liberal zionists are not willing to accept justice as once of the conditions for solving the conflicts between Israel and other peoples. Israel must be allowed to maintain and consolidate it’s illegal gains that it obtained through the murder, oppression and slaughter of civilians including women, children and babies.

    • Kay24 on July 8, 2015, 7:50 am

      Yes, but keep in mind these zionists are fully capable of stealing islands belonging to others every time they bump into one! You cannot trust a zionist when it comes to theft, they even steal water and soil. So greedy.

  14. traintosiberia on July 8, 2015, 12:54 am

    ” disengage” from Gaza ! Haven’t been we told that Israel disengaged years ago ? Maintains siege ? Haven’t the world been told and since then reminded million times that Israel handed over Gaza to Palestinian?
    Zionist depends and abuses the linguistic crevices to insert its holy puffed up airbrushed image to the rest hoping always that memory would not be helping to challenge its newest hokum .

  15. Citizen on July 8, 2015, 5:22 am

    That’s quite a picture of Mr. Katz. Look at it again.

  16. rosross on July 8, 2015, 8:25 am

    Some things are just evil.

  17. Stephen Shenfield on July 8, 2015, 8:37 am

    “By this statement, it’s clear the Israeli government considers the international waters surrounding the Gaza Strip within its borders.”

    Doesn’t follow. For Israel “protecting borders” has always included action way beyond those borders, such as punitive raids deep into enemy territory. Even the bombardment of Beirut still fell under the heading of protecting the northern border.

    I wonder what international law has to say about artificial islands. Probably nothing. If any country can assert the right to build new islands in international waters and claim them as part of its national territory together with a broad zone around them we’re in for real chaos. Though perhaps a completely artificial structure would not count as an “island”; after all, an oil rig does not constitute an island.

  18. Louieknoxville on July 8, 2015, 1:17 pm

    The reality is that a rag-tag group of militants, armed with home made rockets and hand-me-down light weapons, when fighting for control of their own land has defeated a rudderless Israeli government armed with the latest technology, but with no will to believe that it owns the land.

    • Mooser on July 8, 2015, 10:38 pm

      “a rudderless Israeli government armed with the latest technology, but with no will to believe that it owns the land. “

      Really? You think if maybe Israel exhibited some more “will to believe that it owns the land” they could prevail? Please tell me how they could show more of that “will to believe that it owns the land?”

  19. Boo on July 8, 2015, 1:29 pm

    Where will they get the fill for this island? The West Bank, perhaps? No, it’s just not feasible. Instead they should erect a dome over Gaza to protect Israel — I suggest an iron one. It need not reach too high, as this would waste resources and in particular contain an unnecessarily large volume of air.

  20. amigo on July 8, 2015, 2:55 pm

    To be fair, a greater Israel would not be complete without a “little Israel”. The only problem is how long can the Mainland stay afloat.

  21. Hostage on July 8, 2015, 6:57 pm

    While the floating harbor plans have slowly advanced, Katz admitted this remains an extremely unlikely option. “Why hasn’t this happened until now?

    They’re still working on the stationary wormhole, the warp drives for the shuttles, and the food replicators.

  22. US Citizen on July 8, 2015, 7:36 pm

    Just look at the map behind him – that tells all about what Israel is “planning”.

    An island nation known as the “Floating Jewish State of Israel” would be a win/win/win/win for the whole world, and would be well worth whatever it cost. – yea, whatever happened to the garbage barge anyway ? A worthy landing place for these idiots.

  23. Accentitude on July 9, 2015, 2:59 am

    Instead of building an island, they should just sub-contract the Palestinian Authority to maintain the siege. Then they can just shrug and say “Look, the Pals are doing it to themselves.” Oh wait, they already do sub-contract the PA….which talks a tough game about freeing Gaza, but relies on coordination with Israel to keep Hamas under it’s boots.

  24. CigarGod on July 9, 2015, 6:39 am

    Looks like a nice fund raising opportunity, to me.
    I think the plan is purposely dumbed down, to appeal to as many Ziocainites as possible.

  25. michelle on July 9, 2015, 2:20 pm

    .
    still seems like an effort to push the Palestine people
    into the sea and claim all the lands for Israel
    .
    though the Palestine people would remaim
    under seige for the ‘safety’ of ‘Israel’
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  26. diasp0ra on July 11, 2015, 3:40 am

    Just put us in a rocket and shoot us into space already. Israelis are ridiculous.

    • bintbiba on July 11, 2015, 4:11 am

      Well said, diasp0ra,

      Many Israelis are getting ridiculous-er and ridiculous-er by the day…. …..surely a sign of mental instability, no?

      • diasp0ra on July 11, 2015, 2:29 pm

        They are so comfortable managing this from afar, erecting an entire militarized Island to keep people under long term imprisonment. Do they not see how absurd this all is? As they sit in comfort in Tel Aviv?

        They are so comfortable with the status quo. As if they are unaware that they have their houses because a family somewhere lives in squalor in a refugee camp.

      • CigarGod on July 12, 2015, 1:01 pm

        Hmmmm…..
        An isolated island, miles off the coast?
        Sounds like a Devils Island, to me.
        “Oh my, grandfather bibi…what grand new prison are you planning?”

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