Government Condemns Israeli Plan on Qalandia Airport

RAMALLAH, February 23, 2012 (WAFA) – Palestinian government spokesman Ghassan Khatib Thursday condemned an Israeli plan to transfer Qalandia airport into an industrial zone, considering it a violation of international law.

“The airport is located in an occupied land according to international law and therefore Israel has no right to make any changes to the status quo,” said Khatib.

He added that re-opening Qalandia airport was part of the Palestinian Authority’s development plans for the future.

The Planning and Building Committee of the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem registered the unused land on which Qalandia airport is built, in the north of East Jerusalem, as state land, the Israeli newspaper Maariv said Thursday.

It said that the Israeli Airport Authority made a submission to the Israeli municipality, requesting to register the land under its authority at the Israel Land Department.

The airport has been closed by the Israeli authorities since the second Intifada which started in October 2000 and was never reopened.

Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz had formed a special committee on the airport, which decided to transfer the land to the Israeli municipality to establish an industrial zone in its place, said the newspaper.

Tzipi Livni, former Israeli foreign minister, had promised that Israel will hand over the Qaladia airport to the Palestinian Authority after a peace agreement is reached.

Director of Peace Now’s Settlements Watch project, Hagit Ofran, said that transferring the airport into an industrial zone will destroy the chances of establishing two states.

“It does not concern me under whose name the land will be registered but it must be turned over to the Palestinian Authority,” she said.


Government Condemns Israeli Plan on Qalandia Airport

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