Egypt proposes creation of free trade zone on Sinai-Gaza border

Hamas and Egypt met to discuss the creation of a free trade zone in order to improve Gaza’s economy. 

By: World Israel News Staff

A Hamas delegation left the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and headed for Cairo to discuss economic projects related to the Gaza Strip with Egyptian officials.

The delegation, headed by Deputy Minister of Finance Yousef Al-Kayali, will focus on the exchange of trade and the establishment of a free trade area between Egypt and Gaza.

These meetings follow similar meetings between Hamas and Egyptian officials.

According to a report by the Haaretz daily, quoting the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar, Egypt will present the Hamas delegation with a comprehensive plan to rehabilitate Gaza’s economy, including a free trade zone between the countries.

Egypt is also proposing Gaza’s use of the Al Arish airport in northern Sinai and freer movement via the Rafah crossing separating Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Egypt plans on moving forward with the plan, with or without Hamas’s support, according to Al Akhbar.

A report by Israel’s Yediot Aharonot earlier this week said that Israel suggested a solar panel farm be built in the Sinai, but Cairo declared that as long as Gaza is not controlled by the Palestinian Authority, that energy field could not be built on its territory.