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Update: Floating dock in Cyprus to operate under Israeli control under consideration

June 26, 2018 at 11:20am
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The government is considering a request for the construction of a small dock in Cyprus paid for and under the control of Israel as a means of relieving the isolation of the Gaza Strip, deputy government spokesman Klelia Vasiliou said on Tuesday.

She was commenting on a report by an Israeli TV channel that this was agreed in principle between Israel and Cyprus during the Israeli Defence Minister’s visit to Cyprus last week.

“There is no agreement on this issue but there is a request that is being examined,” she said after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Israeli’s Channel 2 cited  information coming from the close environment of Israeli Minister Avigdor Lieberman. News of the deal emerged during talks on ways in which to lift the isolation of the Palestinians, in which US envoys in Tel Aviv participated as well, it added.

The dock will mainly serve as a point of loading and transporting medical assistance, and general goods to the Gaza Strip.

There is no port facility in the Gaza Strip that can accommodate larger ships, so cargo will arrive in Cyprus and then be transported to the Gaza Strip with smaller boats. The framework agreement was established during Lieberman’s visit to Cyprus on Saturday after talks with Savvas Angelides, Defence Minister of Cyprus, the TV report said.

At the same time, Israel has already indicated the plan is conditional on the release of two Israeli civilians and the bodies of two soldiers held by Hamas.