Where: Dahanieh, Gaza Strip
Gaza International Airport, after 20 months' waiting after the construction was completed, was open as part of Israel and the Palestinians' peace deal. In Octobe 1998, Israel and the Palestinians signed the U.S.-brokered Wye River agreement and the open of Gaza International Airport is part of their interim peace deal. On November 23, 1998, an Egyptian plane made an inaugural landing in the new airport. The Palestinian Leader Arafat greeted airplanes from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Spain, the European Union and two Palestinian Airlines flights.
Israel continues to control the airspace and has the authority to shut down airfield at any time. It will monitor arriving passengers and cargo, and can keep travelers or goods out if it considers them a danger to Israeli security.
Major pieces of equipment, including the controls for the control tower, however, are still held up at the Israeli port of Ashdod. Therefore, airport operations will have to rely on some improvisation.
Despite the shortcomings, many Palestinians consider the airport a big step towards independence.
October 1998: Israel and the Palestinians signed the Wye River Peace Agreement.
October 1998: Israel and the Palestinians negotiated about the opening of the airport during the U.S.-sponsored Mideast summit near Washington.
11/23/1998: Gaza International Airport was open.
Key Individual, Place, and Organization
Yasser Arafat: Pelestinian Authority President.
Gaza Strip: A disputed area claimed by both Israeli and the Palestinians.