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Transport in the Palestinian territories


Transport in the Palestinian territories

This article describes transport in the Palestinian territories, which consists of two non-contiguous territories, Gaza and the West Bank, different parts of which are administered by Palestinian National Authority, Hamas Administration in Gaza and Israel. Egress and ingress to these territories de jure is controlled by Israel, but such control is not enforced on the Gaza land border with Egypt.


  • Railways 1
    • Railway links with adjacent countries 1.1
  • Highways (2004 est) 2
  • Ports and harbors 3
    • Merchant marine 3.1
  • Airports 4
    • Airports - with paved runways (2006) 4.1
  • Notes 5


The Gaza Strip has a nowadays–dismantled standard gauge railway running 34 kilometers along its length from north to south.

In the West Bank, a narrow gauge railway operated until the 1940s stretching from Jenin to Tulkarm to Nablus which was built during Ottoman rule, and was connected to the Hejaz Railway of 1,050 mm (3 ft 5 1132 in) gauge.

As part of the Camp David agreements, repeated in statements made by Israel in 2005 contained a proposal to link the two Palestinian territories with a high speed rail. This would involve extending the Heletz railway to Tarqumiyah (thus providing a rail link from Erez Crossing to the West Bank) and building a spur form the future Eastern Railway to Tulkarm, as well as rebuilding the old railway branch from a renewed Jezreel Valley Railway to Jenin. These links might be extended later through to Egypt and Jordan.

Railway links with adjacent countries

There are no operating railways. Here are past-existing railways in the State of Palestine territory:

  • Israel - A standard gauge rail link between Israel and Gaza through Erez Crossing operated until the early 1970s. The narrow gauge Jezreel Valley Railway branch from Afula to Jenin operated until the 1940s. Also, until the late 1940s, a gauge break existed in Tulkarm between the Jenin—Tulkarm—Nablus narrow gauge railway and the standard gauge Eastern Railway. All these connections are now defunct.
  • Egypt - defunct (Gaza)
  • Jordan - defunct (West Bank)
  • Rail link from Gaza Strip to West Bank - offer made.

Highways (2004 est)

  • Total: 4,996 km
  • Paved: 4,996 km
  • Note: includes Gaza Strip

Ports and harbors

The strip's one port was never completed after the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000.

Merchant marine

  • total: 0 ships (1,000 GRT or over)


Total airports: 3

The Gaza International Airport, opened on 24 November 1998 as part of agreements stipulated in the Oslo II Accord and the 23 October 1998 Wye River Memorandum. The airport was closed in October 2000 by Israeli orders, and its runway was destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces in December 2001. It has since been renamed Yasser Arafat International Airport.

Airports - with paved runways (2006)

  • Total: 3
  • 2,438 to 3,047 metres (7,999 to 9,997 ft): 1
  • 1,524 to 2,437 metres (5,000 to 7,995 ft): 1
  • Under 914 metres (2,999 ft): 1

Note: Yasser Arafat International Airport, located in the Gaza Strip, has been closed since 2000.


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