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Israeli Proposal for Gaza Port in Cyprus Born of New Regionalism

The Israeli defense minister’s proposal to allow the creation of a port in Cyprus to serve Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is ostensibly a product of newly-sounded calls for regionalism. Before Minister Avigdor Liberman’s idea was sounded, the Israeli joined his Cypriot and Greek counterparts, arguing that it’s easier to defend as a bloc. At a joint news conference following a session of the three nations’ defense ministers, Greek Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos said the meeting underscored a joint commitment to unite forces in order to deter security challenges. “We agreed that the dangers and threats coming from neighboring crisis areas constitute a wider challenge for the defense of our countries and the security of our peoples for years to come,” Kammenos said. Liberman is on record as being in favor of finding new and creative ways to “improve the realities” in the Gaza Strip, but is adamant that any project that will do so must begin with Hamas returning the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed during fighting in the summer of 2014.

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