Israel’s cabinet has reportedly established a committee tasked with looking into the construction of offshore artificial islands based on a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu claimed during Sunday’s meeting that the plan aims to ease crowding in Israel.
“We have a coast on which we have built infrastructure such as desalination plants, power stations and other infrastructure facilities. This proposal is designed to build, off Israel’s coast, artificial islands that will absorb all these infrastructures, clear the coasts and – of course – give us more land area,” he added.
The daily reported that many ministerial committees have looked into the issue since 1999 after an Israeli-Dutch team published a feasibility paper on building artificial islands off the coast allegedly for housing airports and large infrastructure facilities.
According to the report, this committee is not connected with a proposal by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz to build an artificial island off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, which has been criticized as an attempt to sever Gaza from the rest of the Palestinian territories.
Israel plotting to cut Gaza from Palestine?
Critics question intentions of some senior Israeli officials who have long pushed the idea of building an artificial island off the coast of Gaza.
The Israeli premier said that he has been thinking about this idea since his first term in 1996, noting that it was halted due to opposition from environmental groups.
He claimed that he took the step now as “the technology of artificial islands has greatly changed and developed and it has also evolved in the sense of being more environment-friendly.”
The new measure comes as the regime, emboldened by the US pro-Israel moves, continues its land grab polices on occupied Palestinian territories.
Since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January, the regime in Tel Aviv has stepped up its construction of settler units on occupied Palestinian land in a blatant violation of international law.—Agencies