Minister of Transportation Saadi Kurunz said that the planned international airport will be built on a 5-square-mile plot in an open area of the West Bank between Jerusalem and the ancient city of Jericho.
The area is considered Area C, according to the Oslo peace accords' breakdown of the West Bank. Area C means it is a sparsely populated area that falls under full Israeli control. About two-thirds of the West Bank falls into this category. The Palestinian Authority cannot be present, let alone carry out any kind of work, in Area C, which Palestinians hope will one day be part of their independent state.
But this is not supposed to deter the Palestinians because the building program is set to specifically challenge Israel's control of Area C.
"An airport means sovereignty, freedom, progress and economic development," Kurunz said. He said the Palestinian Authority "did not and will not ask permission from Israel" to build the airport. It wants to do it "despite the occupation," he added.