The formal inauguration was done by former US President Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat.
After a year of construction Gaza International Airport opened on 24 November 1998. The airport was built with funding from Japan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Germany, and designed by Moroccan architects.
At the time, the opening of the airport was described as evidence of progress toward Palestinian statehood.
But Yasser Arafat did not have peaceful intention for the use of this airport. In September 2000, the Arab Palestinian leader was offered Gaza, 96 per cent of the so-called West Bank and East Jerusalem by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barack. Having an International airport in Gaza, Arafat thought that he would now be able to get rid of all of Israel. In late September 2000, Arafat declined any peace deal with Israel, and opted for the Second Intfiada. Arafat commanded multiple suicide attacks inside the state of Israel.
During the following violence, Gaza International Airport was demobilized by the Israeli air force. The runway and the arrival hall was badly damaged.
Arafat and the people of Gaza had to pay a heavy price for their continued war on Israel, inspired by an Islamic call for Holy war on the very existence of the Jewish people.
Take a look at this video from al-Jazeera
Published by Ivar