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Middle East: Treacherous Shoreline

1 minute read

For six years, Israel and Egypt have wrangled over ownership of a mere 250 acres of beachfront on the Gulf of Aqaba. To Egypt, Taba was an integral part of the Sinai, retrieved in 1982 under the terms of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. To Israel, it was a popular resort that draws tens of thousands of vacationers a year. Last week an international arbitration panel effectively awarded sovereignty to Egypt.

That is no guarantee, however, that the exasperating dispute is finally over. Israel now says negotiations are needed to decide who owns the resort’s lucrative hotel. The conservative Likud is also using the dispute to bash its ) Labor rivals in Israel’s election campaign. Although both parties had agreed to arbitration, Likud politicos are angrily demanding, “Who lost Taba?”

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