by WorldTribune Staff, June 18, 2018
The Trump administration is looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from Gulf states for projects in the Gaza Strip, a report said.
Middle East specialists in Washington and London have been focused on still-secret details of the Trump administration’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.
Israeli and Arab sources quoted in the June 17 report by Haaretz said that the idea will be raised when White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and special envoy Jason Greenblatt speak this week with the leaders of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel.
Greenblatt and Kushner’s visit to the region comes as the Trump administration prepares to deliver its peace plan for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The White House told Haaretz that the administration “won’t discuss specifics before the conversations have taken place.”
Among the issues Kushner and Greenblatt will address is the energy supply for Gaza, which has suffered severe electricity shortages and disruptions in recent months, the sources told Haaretz.
“This is an issue that is urgent, and at the same time, can be dealt with relatively quickly,” said one of the sources, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. “The Americans are counting on the Gulf states to help with the money necessary for solving it.”
Israeli sources said one option being discussed is a solar energy project that would serve some of Gaza’s energy needs. It would be built near the Egyptian town of El-Arish in northern Sinai. The sources said that overall the White House hoped that somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion would be raised.
Among long-term projects to serve Gaza, according to Haaretz, would be the construction of a port in northern Sinai and the building of a power plant and water desalination plant. The general framework of most of the projects is construction in northern Sinai near the Gaza border.