Tiran (Arabic: جزيرة تيران Jazīrat Tīrān, aka Jezîret Tīrān and Yotvat Island, is an Egyptian-administered island that is also claimed by Saudi Arabia. It is located at the entrance of the Straits of Tiran, which separates the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aqaba. It has an area of about 80 km2 (30 sq mi). It is part of the Ras Muhammad National Park. The definite sovereignty over Tiran Island is left unclear by both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, due to geostrategic reasons. The Straits of Tiran is Israel's only access from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Red Sea, and Egypt's blockade of the Straits of Tiran on 22 May 1967 was the casus belli for Israel in the Six Day War.
Tiran Island is of strategic significance in the area, as it forms the narrowest section of the Straits of Tiran, which is an important sea passage to the major ports of Aqaba in Jordan and Eilat in Israel. Israel briefly took over Tiran Island during the Suez Crisis and again from 1967 to 1982 following the Six Day War. The island is currently inhabited only by military personnel from Egypt and the Multinational Force and Observers [MFO].
Chisholm Point is a cape of Tiran Island.
Some sources report that many beaches on the island are mined.
Tiran may be the island that Procopius called Iotabe (in Greek Ἰωτάβη), which was an important toll station for shipping in the area, but other islands in the Gulf of Aqaba have been proposed as alternative identifications. In 473 a Saracen named Amorkesos captured the island and appropriated the revenues, but the Byzantine Empire retook it 25 years later, granting its inhabitants autonomy, subject to payment of taxes on goods exported to India. Around 534, the Byzantines had to retake it again from a group whom Choricius of Gaza called an unholy race, and whom some scholars suppose to have been the Jewish inhabitants who had refused to pay the taxes.
The earliest and latest dates mentioned in relation to Iotabe are given in relation to the participation of bishops of the island in the church councils: Macarius in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 (in whose acts the diocese is listed as belonging to the Roman province of Palaestina Tertia), and Anastasius in a synod held at Jerusalem in 536.
There is no mention of Iotape in accounts of the Islamic conquests, suggesting that by then the island was uninhabited.
The reference by Procopius to an autonomous Jewish community on the island of Iotabe until the 6th century figured in Israeli rhetoric during the Suez crisis and during and immediately after the Six Day War.
The proposed Saudi-Egypt Causeway would pass through Tiran Island.
- "Jazīrat Tīrān: Egypt". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
- "Jezîret Tīrān: Saudi Arabia". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
- "Yotvat Island: Egypt". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
- Shindler, Colin (2013). A History of Modern Israel (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-10702862-3. Retrieved 7 August 2014.)
- CIA - The World Factbook
- Robert Priewasser, Tiran Island and Straits of Tiran. Unexplained Sovereignty over an Island in the Context of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Saarbrücken: Akademikerverlag, 2013)
- http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/tiran-island.htm Observation Post 3-11, Tiran Island
- Walter David Ward, From Provincia Arabia to Palaestina Tertia (ProQuest 2008 ISBN 978-1-10905356-2), pp. 162–168
- Irfan Shahîd, Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, Volume 1 (Dumbarton Oaks 1995 ISBN 978-0-88402214-5), p. 184
- Procopius, History of the Wars I.xix.4
- Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 454
- Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 911
- The Legal Foundation and Borders of ... - Google Books
- Tiran dive sites
- Observation Post 3-11, Tiran Island, GlobalSecurity.org
- BirdLife Factsheet - Tiran Island
- Tiran Island, Tourist info
- Information about Tiran Island
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