Port of Gaza
|Port of Gaza|
Gaza port, 1980
|Location||Gaza Governorate, Gaza Strip|
|Operated by||Palestinian National Authority|
|Land area||48,000 sqm|
|Piers||970m + 330m|
In antiquity, Gaza port was the principal port on the Mediterranean serving the Incense Road. Strabo and Ptolemy referred to it as Gazaion limen. The port was distinct from the city, which was located opposite it. Under Constantine the Great, the settled area around the port was granted city status and named Konstaneia. Under the emperor Julian, it was downgraded and the name was changed to Maioumas ("harbor place"). It became associated at this time with a pagan festival.
The Port of Gaza was at the end of the Nabataean spice road where trade was conducted in herbs, spices incense, drapery, glass and food. Goods arrived in the port on the backs of camels from Southern Arabia (the Kingdom of Sheba) through Petra, the Arava Valley and crossing Negev Desert via Avdat. At the port of Gaza, these goods were dispatched to the European markets.
In 2011, eight Roman columns believed to be the remains of a church were swept ashore during a storm. In 2013, the Palestinian naval police found ancient artifacts that included poles and baked clay.
Before World War I, Gaza was a busy port. In 2006, after the election of Hamas, Israel imposed a naval blockade. Restrictions were tightened in 2007 after Hamas took full control. Several attempts to break the Israeli blockade were made. Israel has prevented most ships from docking at the port of Gaza, but has allowed at least two boats, carrying activists and some supplies to reach the port. An Iranian ship sailing from Bandar Abbas to the port of Gaza, with humanitarian aid, was diverted during the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict.
In 2010, the port was deepened in preparation for the arrival of large international ships. A breakwater was constructed and lighting was installed. Hamas announced plans to develop the port to make it more accessible to fishermen and attract tourists.
Gaza Seaport plans
In 2005, Israel approved Palestinian plans to rebuild and complete the construction of a port a few miles south of Gaza City, which had begun before the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000 and was destroyed by Israeli forces together with Gaza's existing airport near Rafah, following the outbreak of the Second Intifada. Some academics have argued that a port which is under full Palestinian control is an essential step to achieving a lasting peace between Israel and a future Palestinian state.
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- Israeli MFA
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- Gaza's archaeological treasures at risk from war and neglect
- Guardian Israeli navy blocks Gaza aid ship 1 December 2008
- Haaretz 29 July 2008 U.S. leftists confirm plans to sail to Gaza to break siege by Associated press
- Jpost Navy lets another boat into Gaza port By Yaakov Katz and Herb Keinon 9 December 2008
- New York Times Israel Halts Ship to Gaza, Iran Says by Nazila Fathi 13 January 2009
- Gaza port readies for flotilla, Jerusalem Post
- Telegraph 17 February 2005 Palestinians to rebuild Gaza sea port in latest peace move
- Economic viability of Gaza Port[dead link]